Updated from 4:16 p.m. EST

Gains in prominent tech names led a broad advance in U.S. stocks Wednesday, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a record high.

The Dow rose 87.97 points, or 0.7%, to 12,621.77, and the S&P 500 added 12.14 points, or 0.85%, to 1440.13. The Nasdaq Composite surged 34.87 points, or 1.43%, to 2466.28.

AT&T ( T) was the big gainer on the Dow, up 4.3%, after Cingular Wireless said its fourth-quarter profit nearly quadrupled. AT&T, which reports earnings Thursday, acquired Cingular after purchasing BellSouth last month.

Also providing support was a 1.5% climb in the Amex Gold Bugs index and a 1.1% increase in the Philadelphia Stock Exchange Housing Sector index.

Roughly 2.88 billion shares changed hands on the New York Stock Exchange, and volume on the Nasdaq topped 2.24 billion shares. Winners outpaced losers 2 to 1.

"The good corporate earnings was certainly behind today's move," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist with Avalon Partners. "With the market moving in a vivacious way, it indicates there's still cash on the sidelines. We'll continue to look at each sector and any other good news will add flavor."

Despite Wall Street's upswing, Marc Pado, U.S. market strategist with Cantor Fitzgerald, said that the market "has seen so much good news over the past few months, it's hard to see what could take stocks to a new bull-market high without time working off these overbought conditions and price building a base pattern.

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