Stocks soared as investors cast aside interest-rate concerns and turned upbeat about third-quarter earnings. Financial and Internet issues once again led the gainers.
The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 187.75, to 10,588.34. The Dow has rebounded nearly 375 points, or 3.7 percent, since last Wednesday, when it reached 10,213.48, its lowest point since April 9. The index is now up 15.3 percent for the year.
Broader indicators also rose, although advancing stocks only narrowly beat declining ones. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index rose 24.05, to 1325.40, and the Nasdaq composite index was up 57.54 at 2857.21.
Analysts said investors were focused on the third-quarter earnings reports that have begun to trickle in and expected many of them to be strong.
For companies that reported earnings today, the market followed its recent pattern of rewarding firms that beat analysts' forecasts and punishing those that simply met expectations.
Shares of PepsiCo rose 1 3/4, to 33-3/16, after surpassing Wall Street's expectations with strong sales in its Frito-Lay snacks and Tropicana juice businesses.
Aluminum producer and Dow component Alcoa fell 2 1/8, to 62, after meeting forecasts but reporting a drop in shipments.
After the market closed, Internet search engine Yahoo reported earnings that surpassed analysts' estimates. The stock had risen 2-7/16, to 175 3/4, in anticipation of good news.
The optimism about earnings comes after weeks of worry about what the Federal Reserve would do with interest rates. The Fed decided Tuesday to leave interest rates alone for now but lean toward a rate increase in the coming months. Although the Fed's announcement initially led to heavy selling Tuesday, investors were more relaxed today.
The central bank has pushed rates higher twice since June, and worries about another increase helped depress stocks for much of the last month. The Dow fell more than 1,100 points from its all-time closing high of 11,326.04, set Aug. 25, before regaining ground.
American Express, up 6-1/32 at 246 1/2, and Hewlett Packard, up 5 1/2 at 89 1/2, helped lead the Dow higher.
Online auctioneer eBay, up 10 1/2 at 151-11/16, and Priceline.com, up 8 1/2 at 72 3/4, were leaders in the Nasdaq market.