U.S. stocks closed higher on Wednesday as investors digested a batch of quarterly corporate earnings reports.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 240.29 points, or 0.93 percent, to 26,202.73. The S&P 500 rose 23.92 points, or 0.82 percent, to 2,924.43. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 71.65 points, or 0.90 percent, to 8,020.21.
Both Target and Lowe's saw their shares surge after their earnings topped analyst expectations.
Target reported GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) earnings per share from continuing operations of 1.82 U.S. dollars in the second quarter of 2019, up 22 percent from the same period last year. Its total revenue reached 18.4 billion dollars, up 3.6 percent.
Its comparable sales, a key metric for retailers, grew 3.4 percent. It was driven by a 2.4-percent traffic growth.
Lowe's reported diluted quarterly earnings per share of 2.14 dollars and revenue of 21 billion dollars. Its comparable sales increased 2.3 percent. All three numbers exceeded Wall Street estimates.
In the meantime, investors looked ahead to the release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve's meeting in July to look for clues of the central bank's next monetary policy move.
The Fed cut interest rates by 25 basis points in late July for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis. While citing economic and trade uncertainties, the Fed pointed out the rate cut was only a "midcycle adjustment" rather than the start of a series of more accommodative policies.