New York (AFP) - Energy and banking shares led US stocks higher Wednesday following strong results from Halliburton and Morgan Stanley and another rise in oil prices, which ended at their highest level this year.
Halliburton jumped 4.3 percent after it described a pickup in North American activity and offered an improved outlook for oil services following a two-year slump.
Morgan Stanley climbed 1.9 percent as it reported a 61.7 percent increase in third-quarter earnings to $1.5 billion due to strong gains in its trading division.
That capped a solid round of earnings for big banks. JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America all rose at least 1 percent.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.2 percent to 18,202.62.
The broad-based S&P 500 rose 0.2 percent to 2,144.29, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.1 percent at 5,246.41.
Earnings reports are generally beating expectations, said CFRA Research chief investment strategist Sam Stovall.
"We started the reporting period thinking that earnings would be down one percent," he said. "Now it looks as if they will be down by less than half than one percent and the trend is likely to get even better before reporting period is all done."
Dow member Intel slumped 5.9 percent as it projected fourth-quarter sales of $15.7 billion, below the $15.9 billion analysts expected.
Yahoo increased 2.5 percent after reporting that third-quarter profits more than doubled to $163 million. The Internet company signaled that it was on track to close its acquisition by Verizon despite a large hack of Yahoo users the company disclosed after the Verizon deal was announced.
Starbucks rose 1.0 percent as it announced plans to double the number of its stores in China to 5,000 from the current 2,300.