Stocks rose on Wednesday as a proposed takeover in the homebuilder sector boosted optimism about share valuations and technology shares jumped on hopes of a recovery in both business and consumer spending.

News of government aid for some life insurers also helped underpin sentiment, along with news that Pulte Homes

would buy Texas-based builder Centex for $1.3 billion in stock.

On the tech front Microsoft led the Nasdaq, up 4.2 percent at $19.55, while International Business Machines underpinned the Dow, up 2.3 percent at $101.05. Technology stocks have held up relatively well despite the market's drop to 12-year lows last month.

The market fell for the last two sessions as investors fretted about an expected dismal earnings season, but despite the losses since the bear market low, the S&P 500 has risen about 22 percent.

As you look across the broader equity marketplace one of the things we are seeing is some people trying to really chase after the so-called earlier cycle names and it's been building as the days have gone on, said Craig Peckham, equity trading strategist at Jefferies & Company in New York.

The U.S. Treasury said on Wednesday that some life insurers have met requirements for government capital investments due to their status as bank holding companies, clarifying that it is not launching a new bailout for the sector.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 76.22 points, or 0.98 percent, to 7,865.78. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 11.02 points, or 1.35 percent, to 826.57. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> pushed up 29.38 points, or 1.88

(Reporting by Leah Schnurr and Edward Krudy; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio)