NEW YORK (
) - Stocks had their best showing in more than two weeks on Wednesday, buoyed by strong earnings and continued expectations that the
is on board for more quantitative easing.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
gained 129 points, or 1.2%, to finish at 11,108 after rising as high as11,152 earlier in the session. The
rose 12 points, or 1.1%, to 1178. The
added 20 points, or 0.8%, to 2457.
The rise in the Dow was the blue-chip index's biggest surge since Oct. 5, and breadth was overwhelmingly positive with 27 of the 30 components moving higher. The Dow is now up nearly 3% in October, and 6.5% year-to-date.
The rally was broad-based with basic materials, energy and financial stocks rebounding from the previous session's lows.
were the biggest gainers on the Dow while
Bank of America
were the only losers.
Markets cheered strong earnings from
and other airline stocks as well as record quarterly profits from
Also helping equities was the selloff in the dollar after a strong rally on Tuesday. The dollar index was down 1.3% on Wednesday.
The widely anticipated Federal Reserve's Beige Book, a compilation of anecdotal evidence on economic conditions across the Fed's 12 districts,
The report noted that economic activity continued to be slow, housing market remained weak and that companies were unable to pass on input cost rises to customers. The report will be used by the Federal Open Market Committee during its next Nov. 2-3 policy-setting meeting, helping to fuel expectations that the central bank will resume the purchase of treasury bonds to boost the economy.
"The market is responding very well to earnings today," said Michael Strauss, chief economist and market strategist at Commonfund, adding that results overall have been beating expectations. "On balance, we're beginning to see signs that investors are preparing themselves for the increased prospect that either the economy will get better or that the Fed will take action to help the economy get better."
topped earnings expectations by a nickel on Wednesday with a profit of 60 cents a share although revenue of $20.87 billion fell short of the $20.95 billion that analysts had projected. Shares were up 4.3% at $25.60.
lost a penny to close at $25.38 after it said third-quarter earnings fell to $313 million, or 5 cents a share, from $936 million, or 50 cents a share, a year ago. The profit missed estimates for earnings of 15 cents a share.
missed analyst estimates, citing weak loan demand. Shares were down 6.4% at $35.23.
Airline stocks performed well with strong results from Boeing and
Delta Air Lines
Boeing surpassed expectations with third-quarter earnings of $1.12 a share on sales of $17 billion. Shares gained 3.3% to $71.36. Analysts had expected a profit of $1.06 a share on sales of $16.8 billion. The company also said its order book grew by $25 billion.
jumped 10.8% to $12.97 after the airline easily beat estimates for earnings of 94 cents a share with a third-quarter profit of $1.10 a share. Delta also said it expects the fourth quarter to be profitable since strong demand has continued.
, the parent company of American Airlines, rose 12.5% at $7.34 following its earnings beat.
After the closing bell,
said profits grew to 78 cents per share, significantly higher than analyst estimates. The stock rose 2.5% in the regular session to $ 153.15 and was gaining 7.5% to $164.11 in extended trades.
said profits rose 23% to 33 cents per share. Excluding items its profit rose to 40 cents per share beating estimates by 3 cents. Shares were up 7.2% in afterhours action.
was among the worst performers, crashing 46% to $11.03 after its diabetes drug did not win the Food and Drug Administration's approval. Its partners
also shed 28% to $10.51 and 4% to $36.01. Meanwhile shares of diabetes drug-maker
soared 10.4% to $100.42 on the news of the denial.
rose 0.3% to $310.53 ahead of an unveiling of what's expected to be a smaller version of the MacBook Air.
soared 5.5% to $6.30 after its results topped estimates, even though the company narrowed its revenue outlook.
reported record net revenue of $4.6 billion and topped profit expectations with earnings of 45 cents a share as it extended $54.8 billion in lending during the third quarter. Shares closed slightly higher at $22.83.
reported a 24% dip in third-quarter net income but managed to top analysts' estimates on strong revenue from advisory services and municipal financing. The stock gained 0.6% to $29.90.
upped its year-end guidance to the high end of its previous range at $4.70 a share and announced third-quarter net earnings of $1.30 a share on sales of $13.53 billion. Analysts had been looking for a profit of $1.28 a share on sales of $13.92 billion. Shares gained 0.4% to $73.92.
shed 2.2% to $74.07 despite better-than-expected earnings of $1.48 a share while shares of regional bank
Marshall & Ilsley
plunged 10.2% to $6.24 on a wider-than-expected loss of 32 cents a share.
In commodity markets, November crude oil gained $2.28 to settle at $81.77 a barrel.
The Energy Information Administration reported an increase of 700,000 barrels in crude oil supplies in the week ended Oct. 15, which was lower than the build of 2.1 million barrels that analysts polled by Platts expected and also below the 2.31 million-barrel build that the American Petroleum Institute reported late Tuesday.
Gasoline stocks unexpectedly gained 1.2 million barrels, upsetting projections for a decline of 1.2 million barrels, while distillates shed 2.2 million barrels. Analysts had expected a draw of 1.3 million barrels.
Meanwhile the December gold contract rose $8.2 to settle at $1,343.30 an ounce.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury note was down 1/32, with the yield rising to 2.484%.
Overseas, Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.9% and Japan's Nikkei lost 1.7%. The FTSE in London added 0.4% and the DAX in Frankfurt rose 0.5%.
-- Written by Melinda Peer and Shanthi Venkataraman in New York
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.