U.S. stocks closed about half a percent higher on Wednesday, ending a day of choppy trade as investors weighed mixed earnings and signs of strength in the housing market. ( Tweet This )
"I think its a combination of the housing data better than expected and earnings better than expected," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital. "I think it's (also) a combination of the fact that the market couldn't move any lower."
The Nasdaq was within 15 points of its all-time closing high of 5,048.62. The Dow Jones industrial average held above 18,000 and briefly added 100 points in the last 40 minutes before the close. The S&P 500 was within 15 points of its all-time intraday high.
Earlier, stocks fluctuated around the flat line with the Nasdaq underperforming the major averages.
"I would say it's pretty clear the underlying trends are pretty mixed and I think that is leading the Fed to back away from (the idea that) something will happen in June," said Maris Ogg, president at Tower Bridge Advisors. "Trends have gotten a lot more mixed beyond currency. At some point earnings are going to have to catch up with stock prices."