A jump in shares of consumer companies Mondelez and Kellogg after their quarterly reports, along with further gains for tech stocks on Tuesday, put the three major Wall Street indexes on track for their best monthly gains since February.
Those stocks boosted the S&P consumer staples sector <.splrcs>, which rose 1.0 percent to lead all major groups.
The tech sector <.splrct> climbed 0.6 percent, building on gains following a batch of strong quarterly reports last week.
"You look at the earnings out of these big players and they continue to impress," said Steve Chiavarone, portfolio manager with Federated Investors in New York. "It strikes me that that leads you to a much more bullish outlook for the fourth quarter."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.dji> rose 29.07 points, or 0.12 percent, to 23,377.81, the S&P 500 <.spx> gained 4.52 points, or 0.18 percent, to 2,577.35 and the Nasdaq Composite <.ixic> added 37.45 points, or 0.56 percent, to 6,736.42.
Investors are also waiting for an announcement on the next Federal Reserve chair, which could come this week. President Donald Trump is likely to pick Fed Governor Jerome Powell, who is seen as more dovish on interest rates so relatively stock market friendly, sources have told Reuters.
The Fed starts its two-day meeting in Washington on Tuesday although the central bank is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged in its statement on Wednesday.
Market-watchers are also tracking developments of the tax-cut plan being developed by Trump and fellow Republicans.
Third-quarter earnings in general have come in modestly above expectations.
With more than half the S&P 500 components reported, earnings are estimated to have climbed 7 percent in the quarter, up from an expectation of 5.9 percent growth at the start of October, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
But not all reports have earned a positive stock reaction. Pfizer
In other corporate news, Apple has designed iPhones and iPads that would drop chips supplied by Qualcomm
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.55-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.85-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)