RealTime IT News

Stocks Extend Gains

Stocks rose for a second day Wednesday on optimism that the Federal Reserve's 18-month rate hike campaign may be nearing an end.

Tech stocks led the way higher, for a two-day gain of 2.6%, while the S&P closed at a 4 1/2-year high.

A strong factory orders report also helped stocks. December retail sales will be reported Thursday morning, and the December unemployment report will follow on Friday.

The Nasdaq gained 19 to 2263, the S&P 500 rose 4 to 1273, and the Dow climbed 32 to 10,880. Volume declined to 2.47 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.95 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 24-9 on the NYSE, and 18-11 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 72% on the NYSE, and 76% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 288-29 on the NYSE, and 169-24 on the Nasdaq.

After the close, Xilinx gained 5% after raising guidance.

During the day, Google climbed 2% on yet another upgrade, this time from Bear Stearns.

HP rose 3% on Consumer Electronics Show announcements.

Cincinnati Bell rose 7% on a Deutsche Bank upgrade, and Verizon climbed 3% on positive comments from Merrill Lynch.

Unisys gained 4.5% on a Homeland Security contract.

C-Cor climbed 9% on a restructuring plan.