Technology stocks rose on Wednesday, driven by gains in information technology firm EMC Corp., VMware Inc., and Apple Corp.

The Nasdaq High Technology Index rose 1.9 percent or $20.86.

VMware, Inc reported better than expected first quarter sales which exceeded analysts' estimates, as more companies decided to try its software which allows computer systems to run multiple operating systems. Sales were up 69 percent to $438.2 million. Net income rose 4.8 percent to $43.1 million, or 11 cents per share. VMware shares rose 4.86 percent, or $2.82 to close at $60.84.

EMC Corp., which makes information technology storage equipment, reported strong revenue gains. Sales were up 17 percent to $3.47 billion. Net income fell to $268.8 million, or 13 cents per share to $312.6 million. EMC Shares rose 1.92 percent, or 30 cents to $15.89.

Apple Inc. rose ahead of the release of its earnings report on expectations of better than expected profit. Shares closed up 1.68 percent, or $2.69 to $162.89. After the close of trading, Apple reported earnings per share of $1.00 on revenue of $7.2 billion. Analysts had been expecting a profit of $1.11 per share on $7.17 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.