Wall Street rallied on Wednesday, boosted by JPMorgan's first-quarter results, and unexpectedly strong Chinese trade data raised hopes that the world's second-largest economy was recovering.
JPMorgan, the first of the big banks to report earnings, posted higher-than-expected revenue and profit, sending its shares up 4.2 percent to $61.75.
The stock gave the biggest boost to the S&P 500, bolstering other financial shares. Bank of America rose 3.7 percent and Citigroup 4.8 percent.
Goldman Sachs' 3.2 percent rise propped up the Dow.
Adding to the positive sentiment, data showed China's March exports handily beat expectations, rising for the first time in nine months. Global markets rallied following the data.
However, U.S. retail sales and producer prices unexpectedly fell in March, indicating that economic growth stumbled in the first quarter.
Crude, which has influenced stocks for most of the year, was hovering near 2016 highs as data showed a larger than expected draw in U.S. gasoline inventories. Oil has gained more than 6 percent in the last two days.
"The recovery in oil has given the market a little bit of a positive tone this week and today, we have both JPMorgan and China's trade data beating down expectations," said John Brady, managing director at R.J. O'Brien & Associates in Chicago.
At 12:33 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 134.64 points, or 0.76 percent, at 17,855.89, the S&P 500 was up 13.59 points, or 0.66 percent, at 2,075.31 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 53.49 points, or 1.1 percent, at 4,925.58.
The S&P financial sector rose 1.93 percent and led seven of the 10 major S&P sectors higher.
Harley-Davidson rose 4.4 percent to $46.88 after UBS said it expected the motorcycle company's March retail sales to beat analysts' estimates.
Tenet Healthcare jumped 8.6 percent to $31.55 after Susqehanna upgraded the hospital operator to "positive".
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,191 to 773. On the Nasdaq, 2,139 issues rose and 604 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 19 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 39 new highs and nine lows.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan and Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)
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Published Date: Apr 14, 2016 12:00 am | Updated Date: Apr 14, 2016 12:00 am