NEW YORK (
) -- U.S. stocks finished with strong gains Wednesday as investors
cheered the latest batch of earnings reports
, sending the technology and capital goods sectors markedly higher.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
rose 103 points, or 0.81%, to close at 12,909. The blue-chip index has now risen in three of the past four sessions and is up 5.66% so far in 2012.
Breadth within the Dow was positive with 23 of the 30 components posting gains.
, a big gainer on Tuesday after receiving an upgrade from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, closed Wednesday flat.
Leading the Dow higher were
(INTC - Get Report)
(MSFT - Get Report)
(IBM - Get Report)
Shares of Intel gained 3.27% to $26.21. Intel reported second-quarter earnings Tuesday that
beat analysts' expectations but the No. 1 chipmaker lowered guidance
The stock has now risen 8.08% year to date.
Microsoft shares increased 2.66% to $30.45. The software company is slated to report fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday. Analysts, on average, expect earnings of 62 cents a share on revenue of $18.11 billion.
The stock has gained 17.3% year to date.
Shares of IBM rose 2.5% to $188.25. After the close, Big Blue reported second-quarter earnings of $3.9 billion, or $3.51 a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $3.7 billion, or $3.09 a share. On average, analysts anticipated earnings of $3.42 a share.
IBM's stock has gained 2.38% year to date.
The biggest decliner in the index was
Bank of America
(BAC - Get Report)
. Shares dropped 4.92% to $7.53.
The bank saw
mortgage claims jump 73% in the second quarter
Disputes over mortgage-related securities have been a severe drag on bank earnings for nearly two years, but Bank of America has been by far the hardest hit.
Bank of America's stock has risen 35.43% year to date.
Written by Alexandra Zendrian in New York
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