US stocks : Dow up 0.7 pct
President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged Congress to pass a small package of spending cuts and tax reforms. Though the plan was quickly rebuffed by Republican leaders, investors are looking for an agreement.
"I think there's some hopefulness out there that a reasonable compromise will be made," Evans said.
Also in earnings, Estée Lauder Cos Inc reported a higher quarterly profit and raised its full-year profit forecast. The stock rose 6 percent to $64.71.
With results in from more than half of the S&P 500 companies, 69 percent have beaten profit expectations, compared with the 62 percent average since 1994 and the 65 percent average over the past four quarters. Sixty-six percent of companies have beaten on revenue.
Fourth-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies are expected to rise 4.5 percent, according to the data, above the 1.9 percent forecast at the start of earnings season.
On the down side, McGraw-Hill shares slumped 10.7 percent to $44.92 after the U.S. Justice Department filed a civil lawsuit seeking $5 billion over mortgage bond ratings. Standard & Poor's, a McGraw Hill unit, was accused of inflating ratings and understating risk out of a desire to gain more business from investment banks.
On Monday, McGraw-Hill stock suffered its worst one-day decline since the 1987 market crash.
Volume was roughly 6.7 billion shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and the NYSE MKT, compared with the 2012 average daily closing volume of about 6.45 billion.
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