The Dow industrials (^DJI) gained 18 points Wednesday, the S&P 500 (^GPSC) added 4, and the Nasdaq (^IXIC) rose 11.
Dell shareholders may finally get a chance to vote today on the controversial plan from company chief Michael Dell to take the company private in a $24 billion deal. The outcome could come down to the wire, with some of Dell's largest institutional shareholders reportedly set to vote against his offer. However, Dell's board could delay the vote at the last minute.
Tech stocks are in focus today following earnings reports from Intel, IBM and eBay.
Intel (INTC) continues to suffer from the sharp decline in the PC market. Its quarterly net fell 29 percent. That was in line with expectations, but revenue was a bit light. The chip giant also lowered its revenue outlook for the rest of the year, and acknowledged that it has been slow to respond to the mobile trend.
IBM's (IBM) net also fell, but was still better than Wall Street was looking for. It also raised its full year outlook. And eBay (EBAY) shares are set to slide. Earnings were in line, but its outlook for the current quarter was disappointing.
After the close, we'll hear from two more tech leaders: Microsoft (MSFT) and Google (GOOG).
Other earnings out today:
- Verizon's (VZ) second quarter net income rose 21 percent as the cellphone carrier added nearly 1 million devices and boosted revenues by 8.3 percent.
- Morgan Stanley (MS) said that second-quarter earnings beat analyst expectations, fueled by gains in its investment bank.
- UnitedHealth Group (UNH) reported a bigger-than-expected rise in second-quarter net income as it enrolled more people in private and government-paid health insurance plans and sold more health-technology systems.
Can PepsiCo (PEP) exist without Pepsi? That's the suggestion of activist shareholder Nelson Peltz. He wants the company to sell the beverage unit and become a snack-foods giant by acquiring Mondelez.
And it's Day Two for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Capitol Hill. He gives the same prepared testimony -- this time to the Senate Banking Committee. So investors will focus on Bernanke's answers to lawmakers' questions.
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.