NEW YORK - Wall Street rallied Wednesday after better-than-expected quarterly results from JPMorgan Chase and two other Dow Jones industrials raised investors' hopes that companies and the economy are indeed recovering from the protracted global credit crisis. The Dow rose more than 250 points as investors shrugged off any concerns about oil passing $115 a barrel for the first time.
A market anxious about corporate earnings and their effect on the economy was relieved after JPMorgan Chase & Co., Coca-Cola Co. and Intel Corp. all topped first-quarter projections. The three companies are among dozens posting quarterly results Wednesday.
The battered financial sector advanced after JPMorgan beat analysts' expectations despite a 50 percent drop in quarterly profits. The nation's third-biggest bank, which is in the process of acquiring ailing Bear Stearns Cos., reported $2.6 billion of write-downs tied to its loan portfolio.
"You have a combination of JPMorgan and all these other strong earnings out there from a broad range sectors, and that's helping the buying we're seeing," said Todd Salamone, director of trading and vice president of research at Schaeffer's Investment Research.
"There's an unwinding of all the negativity that we saw ahead of the earnings season."
The Dow rose 256.80, or 2.08 percent, to 12,619.27. The index is up nearly 900 points from a low near 11,740, reached March 10.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 30.28, or 2.27 percent, to 1,364.71; and the Nasdaq composite index advanced 64.07, or 2.80 percent, to 2,350.11.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 21.33, or 3.1 percent, to 713.39.