Michael Yoshikami, president and chief investment strategist at YCMNET Advisors, said the mixed economic news suggested that the market was rising on general momentum more than anything else.
"The market had fallen back a little so this is really just a rally back from a pause," he said, adding, "I think the general trend of the market will be up. There are lots of underlying positives in the market."
James Dailey, senior portfolio manager at Team Asset Strategy Fund, agreed with Yoshikami's comments. "I think it is pure momentum at this point. People are afraid to sell because they might miss the train leaving the station," Dailey said.
926 million shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, 73% of which advanced while 24% lost ground. On the Nasdaq, 2.2 billion shares changed hands.
Oil prices surged following reports that two Iranian warships traveled through the Suez Canal on the way to Syria -- a move that was viewed as a provocation. Roughly 3% of the world's oil supply travels through the Suez Canal, according to a
The March crude oil contract rose 67 cents to settle at $84.98 a barrel.
Earlier, the Energy Information Administration said crude oil inventories added 860,000 in the week ended Feb. 11, which was lower than the increase of 2.8 million barrels that analysts had been anticipating, according to Platts.
In earnings news,
blew past profit estimates
Dell blew past profit estimates with fourth-quarter earnings of 53 cents a share, compared with the profit of 37 cents a share that Wall Street projected. The PC maker also said fourth-quarter gross margin came in at 21%. The stock finished 11.8% higher at $15.56.
Agricultural products company
(DE - Get Report)
said net income roughly doubled in the first quarter, reporting earnings of $1.20 a share on sales of $6.12 billion. Analysts had projected a profit of 99 cents a share on sales of $5.67 billion. The stock finished ahead by 2.4% at $95.86.