The Dow gained 45 points, to end above 16,580 for the first time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) added 5, and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) rose 11 points.
Twitter (TWTR) and eBay (EBAY) stole the spotlight after both reported disappointing quarterly results.
Twitter tumbled 9 percent as investors focused on user growth numbers that failed to excite. Twitter has lost 14 percent of its value from the closing price on its first day of trading last November. Its shares briefly topped $70, but ended Wednesday below $40.
EBay fell 5 percent. It posted a quarterly loss, but that wasn't the bad news. The company said it will take a $3 billion tax hit in order to repatriate most of the cash it holds overseas.
Also down on earnings news:
- Panera Bread (PNRA) lost 6 percent on a disappointing outlook;
- Seagate Technology (STX) fell 2 percent after missing Street estimates;
- And VistaPrint (VPRT), which provides products to small businesses, tumbled 26 percent.
- Time Warner (TWX) rose nearly 3 percent led by strong showings for the big screen and the small screen. Its movies and HBO units both did well;
- And health insurance provider WellPoint (WLP) gained 5½ percent as net topped expectations.
The utility Pepco (POM) powered ahead by 17 percent after agreeing to be acquired by Exelon (EXC), which fell 3 percent.
PokerTek (PTEK) drew a full house, jumping 35 percent as it agreed to be acquired.
But a Chinese media firm, Lihua International (LIWA), lost half its value on allegations of securities fraud. It has reportedly ceased most of its operations this year.
What to Watch Thursday:
- Automakers report April new car sales.
- The Labor Department releases weekly jobless claims, and the Commerce Department releases personal income and spending for March, both 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.
- At 10 a.m.: the Institute for Supply Management releases its manufacturing index for April; Freddie Mac releases weekly mortgage rates at 10 a.m.; and Commerce Department releases construction spending for March.
- Beazer Homes (BZH)
- Bunge (BG)
- Cigna (CI)
- ConocoPhillips (COP)
- Domino's Pizza (DPZ)
- Expedia (EXPE)
- Exxon Mobil (XOM)
- Kellogg (K)
- Kraft Foods (KRFT)
- Lazard (LAZ)
- Legg Mason (LM)
- LinkedIn (LNKD)
- Marathon Petroleum (MPC)
- MasterCard (MA)
- Mohawk Industries (MHK)
- T-Mobile US (TMUS)
- Viacom (VIA)
- Western Union (WU)
- Wynn Resorts (WYNN)