Stocks soared Wednesday, with the Dow Jones industrials gaining more than 128 points as a sharp drop in oil prices and a reassuring assessment of the economy helped investors overcome their disappointment over Intel's earnings and troubling sales forecasts.

Intel's profits and a warning of slow fourth-quarter sales rattled investors who had hoped for more bullish forecasts from corporate America. But the market drew solace late in the day from the Federal Reserve, which in its regular "beige book" breakdown of the economy said many parts of the country are still seeing decent growth despite high energy prices.

Stocks also got a boost from falling crude oil futures after the Energy Department reported larger-than-expected inventories of oil, gasoline and heating oil.

The Dow rose 128.87, or 1.3 percent, to 10,414.13. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index climbed 17.62, or 1.5 percent, to 1195.76. The tech-focused Nasdaq composite index gained 35.24, or 1.7 percent, to 2091.24.

The Commerce Department said new housing construction rose to an annualized rate of 2.108 million units, far greater than the 1.975 million economists expected.


Intel fell 3 cents, to $23.69. The chipmaker reported revenue and profit that were below Wall Street forecasts despite strong laptop computer sales. Its fourth-quarter outlook included warnings of slower sales.

Yahoo jumped $2.21, to $35.91, after beating analysts' profit expectations by a penny per share on a 47 percent jump in sales.

Motorola climbed 85 cents, to $21.02, on news that its quarterly profit tripled.

Altria Group, a Dow component, gained $1.37, to $73.85, after reporting a 9 percent increase in profit.

J.P. Morgan Chase gained 96 cents, to $34.73. A strong stock market in the third quarter boosted its quarterly earnings 78 percent from a year ago.

Bank of America rose 87 cents, to $42.44, after posting a 10 percent profit increase on the strength of its credit card and mortgage businesses.


New York Stock Exchange composite index rose 85.16, to 7363.07.

American Stock Exchange index rose 15.76, to 1616.03.

Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 12.92, to 638.28.


NYSE: 2.69 billion shares, up from 2.23 billion on Tuesday. Advancers outnumbered decliners 11 to 6.

Nasdaq: 1.92 billion shares, up from 1.48 billion. Advancers outnumbered decliners 13 to 7.


Crude oil for November delivery: $62.41, down 79 cents.

Gold for current delivery: $463.50 a troy ounce, down from $472.10 on Tuesday.