U.S. stocks rose slightly on Wednesday on gains in commodity prices and renewed merger and acquisition activity.
U.S. industrial production rose for the second straight month in August, while higher gasoline costs pushed up consumer prices, reinforcing hopes a recovery was underway.
It's particularly encouraging to see the manufacturing sector of the economy recover, said Hugh Johnson, chief investment officer of Johnson Illington Advisors in Albany, NY.
It's like all the other numbers we've seen in that they've been better than expected, and that's what bull markets are all about.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 18.21 points, or 0.19 percent, to 9,701.62. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 2.49 points, or 0.24 percent, to 1,055.12. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> added 5.95 points, or 0.28 percent, to 2,108.59.
The S&P hit a new high for the year shortly after the open, and is now up 56 percent from the March 9 low.
Adobe Systems Inc
Adobe shares fell 6.6 percent to $33.26, while Omniture shares surged 26 percent to $21.82.
M&A activity is considered a positive sign for the economy as businesses display confidence in their capital positions and begin to spend.
Gold hit an 18-month high of $1,020.50 an ounce and helped lift silver and platinum to multi-month peaks. Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc
Genworth Financial Inc
Verizon Communications Inc
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)