In a slow trading session on Wall Street, U.S. stocks recorded moderate gains after opening the day lower. The docket of economic reports is light this week and investors continue to focus on corporate earnings reports.
Among the day's leaders was Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM), which rose a little better than 10 percent after reporting strong Q2 results. In currency trading, the greenback fell while the euro added better than 0.50 percent on the session.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 49 points, or 0.32 percent, to 15,105.
The S&P 500 climbed 7 points, or 0.41 percent, to 1,633.
The Nasdaq Composite rose 17 points, or 0.49 percent, to 3,413.
Crude oil prices were mixed on Wednesday. Late in the day, NYMEX crude futures were trading up a little less than 1 percent to $96.53. Brent crude contracts were down 0.26 percent to $104.13. Natural gas futures rose roughly 1.50 percent on the session to $3.98.
Precious metals rose on Wednesday, with gold recording solid gains while silver was only slightly higher. At last check, COMEX gold futures were up 1.55 percent to $1,4771.30 while silver had climbed 0.12 percent to $23.84. Copper futures added around 1.70 percent on the session.
In the agricultural complex, both corn and wheat traded lower. Corn futures were last down a little better than 1 percent while wheat lost 0.42 percent on the day. In soft commodities, coffee was last trading up 1 percent while sugar fell roughly 1 percent. Orange juice concentrate futures traded up 3.35 percent near the close of equities.
Near the close of the stock market, the iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE:TLT) had added 0.18 percent to $120.38. Bond yields were slightly lower on Wednesday.
The 2-Year Note yield was unchanged at 0.22 percent. The 5-Year Note yield fell one basis point to 0.74 percent. The yield on the 10-Year Note lost two basis points to 1.76 percent while the 30-Year Bond yield fell one basis point to 2.98 percent.
The U.S. dollar traded lower on the day. Near the close, the PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE:UUP), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, was down 0.49 percent to $22.26.
The closely watched EUR/USD pair was last up 0.56 percent to $1.3159. No other currency pairs moved more than 0.50 percent on Wednesday.
Volatility and Volume
The CBOE Volatility Index was largely unchanged on the session. Late in the day, the VIX was trading down 0.23 percent to 12.80.
Volume was much lighter than normal on Wednesday. Only around 81 million SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE:SPY) shares traded hands compared to a 3-month daily average of 125 million.
Shares of Pioneer Southwest Energy Partners (NYSE:PSE) traded up almost 22 percent on the day after the company received a buyout proposal from Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD).
Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) climbed around 17 percent late in the day after the company reported better than expected Q4 financial results.
Shares of Walter Energy (NYSE:WLT) jumped around 14 percent on the session on no news. The stock has been trading down sharply in recent months and Wednesday's move appears to be a relief rally.
Grand Canyon Education (NASDAQ:LOPE) jumped around 14 percent after reporting better than expected Q1 results.
Fusion-IO (NYSE:FIO) fell 18 percent on the day after the company's CEO David Flynn resigned. Shane Robison was named Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of the company immediately.
ValueClick (NASDAQ:VCLK) lost around 16 percent after the company's Q1 results. Although ValueClick beat estimates for the first-quarter, its Q2 outlook was disappointing.
Zillow (NASDAQ:Z), which operates a real-estate website, fell around 10 percent after its first-quarter financial results.
Infoblox (NYSE:BLOX) fell roughly 7 percent after the company's fiscal third-quarter financial results.
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