Stocks rose broadly on Wednesday, sparked by strong results from bellwether Intel Corp that lifted hopes for a rebound in technology spending.

The broad S&P 500 has gained more than 5 percent so far this week as Intel and Goldman Sachs Group posted better-than-expected results. The current earnings season is key as investors look for signs corporate profitability is improving.

Optimism was reinforced by data that suggested the recession is abating, as well as minutes from the Federal Reserve's recent policy-setting meeting that showed officials judged that the economic contraction was slowing.

With the Fed saying that things are looking a little bit better than they thought, that means profits will uniformly look better than everybody thought, said Marc Pado, U.S. market strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald & Co in San Francisco.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 220.52 points, or 2.64 percent, to 8,580.01. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 23.04 points, or 2.54 percent, to 928.88. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> jumped 53.22 points, or 2.96 percent, to 1,852.95.

Dow component Intel surged 7.3 percent to $18.05 on Nasdaq a day after it reported second-quarter results that beat expectations and gave a strong outlook.

The results lifted Intel rival Advanced Micro Devices 9.6 percent to $3.89 on the New York Stock Exchange, while the PHLX semiconductor index <.SOXX> shot up nearly 4 percent.

On the economic front, separate reports showed both industrial output and New York factory activity declined at a slower pace, while consumer prices edged up moderately. The Fed's New York business index registered its strongest level since April 2008.

Minutes from last month's FOMC meeting showed central bank policy-makers thought economic growth would resume in the second half, although the economy remained vulnerable.

(Additional reporting by Ellis Mnyandu; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)