Updated from 4:06 p.m. EDTStocks enjoyed a broad-based, high-volume rally Wednesday, surging for a second day thanks to a 5% dive in the price of oil. The buying was heaviest in technology and financial stocks and lifted the Dow Jones Industrial Average to its best two-session rise this year. The Dow rose 113.52 points, or 1.15%, to 10,002, closing above 10,000 level for the first time since Oct. 13. The S&P 500 rose 14.31 points, or 1.29%, to 1125.40, while the Nasdaq added 41.20 points, or 2.14%, to 1969.99. The tech index ended one point shy of the three-month high it touched on Oct. 6. Among sectors, the Amex Bank Index gained 1.2%, while the Amex Internet Index rose 3.5% and the Amex Networkers Index added 3.1%. The 10-year Treasury note fell 22/32 to yield 4.08%, while the dollar was higher against the yen and lower against the euro. Volume was relatively high on the New York Stock Exchange, where 1.7 billion shares traded and advancers beat decliners 7 to 3. At the Nasdaq, 2.1 billion shares changed hands with advancers ahead of decliners by a margin of 7 to 3. "It's all oil," said Larry Wachtel, senior market analyst at Wachovia Securities. "As oil goes so does the market, and after the inventory figures came out and showed an unexpected rise," the market was able to rally, he said. "The thing about oil is that it's very resilient," added Wachtel, noting that the market remains vulnerable to an equally dramatic upswing in prices. "The market had really reached an oversold position," said Robert Pavlik, portfolio manager at Oaktree Asset Management, summing up two days of bargain-hunting that has added 250 points to the Dow after a three-week slump. Oil futures fell when inventory data showed a jump in gasoline and crude oil stockpiles in the last week. December crude closed down $2.71, or almost 5%, to $52.46, having matched its previous record high yesterday.
"We're seeing some quick money leaving the speculative market in oil, it also might be a little technical bounce off of those $55 to $56 resistance levels," added Pavlik. On the economic front, the government reported that durable-goods sales for the month of September rose 0.2%, up from a 0.5% drop in the prior month. Excluding transportation items, durable goods rose 1.7%. New-home sales were also strong, rising 3.5% in September to an annualized rate of 1.206 million. The Fed's beige book was a nonevent, depicting a moderate economic expansion tempered by energy prices. Chips led the charge in tech shares, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor index up 3.6% on the session. Broadcom ( BRCM), Intel ( INTC) and Applied Materials ( AMAT) all rose nearly 3% in heavy volume. Internet stocks also surged, led by Chinese portal companies like Sina and Netease ( NTES - Get Report). Sina said third-quarter earnings rose a better-than-expected 21% from last year to $14.5 million, or 27 cents a share. Excluding items, the company earned $17.4 million, or 32 cents a share, 4 cents better than the Thomson First Call estimate. Sina shares jumped $7.10, or 25.2%, to $35.29, while Netease added 13% and Sohu rallied 14%. Among other earnings, managed-care provider Anthem ( ATH) said it earned $242.1 million, or $1.70 a share, in the third quarter, up from $196.5 million, or $1.38 a share, a year ago. Revenue jumped 13% to $4.73 billion. Both lines topped analyst estimates. The stock climbed $4.28, or 5.6%, to $81.12. Cell-phone chipmaker RF Micro ( RFMD) swung to a third-quarter loss of $6.7 million, or 4 cents a share, on a 9% year-over-year revenue decline to $149.1 million. Before items, the company lost 2 cents a share, matching estimates. For the second quarter, RF Micro forecast revenue that is slightly below Wall Street forecasts. Still, the shares climbed 33 cents to $6.70.
Before the bell Wednesday, Comcast ( CMCSA) announced third-quarter earnings swung to a profit year over year but missed analysts' expectations by a penny. The company had a profit of $220 million, or 10 cents a share, on revenue of $1.86 billion. Analysts had expected earnings of 11 cents a share, according to Thomson First Call. Comcast stock rose 55 cents to $29.47. Shares of Boeing ( BA) were recently higher after the firm announced that sales in its defense systems drove strong third-quarter growth. The aerospace giant had earnings of $456 million, or 56 cents a share, up 78% from the same period last year and better than analysts' expectations of 40 cents a share. Shares of Boeing gained 12 cents to $50.10. Proctor & Gamble ( PG - Get Report) said better-than-expected first-quarter earnings were led by strong unit volume in developing markets, as well as its shampoo products. The company posted earnings of $2 billion, or 73 cents a share, up 14% from the prior year and ahead of consensus estimates of 72 cents a share. The company reaffirmed its second-quarter guidance. Shares of Proctor & Gamble dropped $1.43 to $51.78. Also reporting earnings Wednesday was Sirius Satellite Radio ( SIRI - Get Report), where higher programming expenses and other costs led to a loss of $169 million, or 14 cents a share. Wall Street had been forecasting a loss of 12 cents a share. The stock closed lower by 13 cents at $3.89. Shares of Adobe ( ADBE) rose after the bell Wednesday, after the company said it would boost fourth-quarter guidance as a result of stronger-than-expected sales in the U.S. and Europe. The company raised its earnings estimate to 40 cents to 43 cents a share, from 38 cents to 41 cents a share. Adobe shares rose $2.26, or 4.2%, to $55.98. Shares of Cardinal Health ( CAH) rallied over 20% after the company posted fourth-quarter earnings of $394 million, or 97 cents a share, beating analysts' estimates of 94 cents a share. The stock added $8.02. or 20.4%, to $47.35. Overseas markets closed mostly higher, with London's FTSE 100 adding 1% to 4630.10 and Germany's Xetra DAX gaining 1.7% to 3929.03. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei rose 0.2% overnight to 10,692, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.1% to 12,839. U.S. stocks bounced Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average posting its biggest one-day point gain since June. The blue-chip average added 138 points to 9888, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 15 points to 1929. The rally was sparked by beaten-down insurance and homebuilding stocks following positive developments at Marsh & McLennan ( MMC) and Pulte Homes ( PHM).