Dow Books Triple-Digit Gain
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The major U.S. equity averages finished with solid gains Wednesday as investors grew progressively more optimistic about second-quarter reporting season and the Federal Reserve said economy continues to grow, albeit at a slower pace.
The central bank's Beige Book report, released late in the session, said overall economic activity in the United States "continued to expand at a modest to moderate pace in June and early July" in the majority of its 12 districts.
"The Atlanta, St. Louis, and San Francisco Districts reported modest growth, while Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, Kansas City, and Dallas described economic activity as advancing moderately," the report said. "The New York, Philadelphia, and Cleveland Districts noted that activity continued to expand, but at a slower pace since the last report, while Richmond cited mixed activity."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 103 points, or 0.81%, to close at 12,909. After falling in six straight sessions, the blue-chip index has now gained ground in the three of the past four trading days and is now up 5.66% so far in 2012.
The market was already showing strength ahead of the Beige Book report as the latest batch of earnings reports contained few negative surprises. Most notably,Intel(INTC) shares was able to rally more than 3% after its above-consensus profit despite the chip giant bringing down its revenue guidance for the rest of the year.
Investor sentiment also got a boost from data showing the housing market recovery is gaining momentum.