New York - US stocks reversed two days of losses to close higher on Wednesday amid caution as investors await fourth-quarter earnings results.
At the close of trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 61.66 points at 13,390.51.
The broad-based S&P 500 rose 3.87 to 1,461.02, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumped 14.00 to 3,105.81.
Alcoa, the first blue-chip company to release fourth-quarter financial results after trade closed Tuesday, slipped 0.2% after earnings for the quarter came in as expected.
Shares in American Airlines parent AMR Corp soared 42.9% to $1.29 after a company lawyer involved in its bankruptcy restructuring said that stockholders' shares would retain some value when the process is completed.
Shares have also risen sharply since late November on speculation that American could merge with US Airways.
Aircraft producer Boeing rebounded 3.6% after Tuesday's fall on news of more problems with its 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
The company insisted that the new problems, including an electrical fire in one plane and a fuel leak in another, were unrelated to problems reported elsewhere.
DISH Network's unexpected rival bid for Clearwire, topping Sprint Nextel's offer by 11%, drove heavy trade in the shares of all three. Clearwire gained 7.2% and DISH 2.5%, while Sprint, whose takeover by Japan's Softbank is closely tied to its successful bid for Clearwire, lost 1.5%.
Nutrition and weight-management company Herbalife jumped 7.5% after hedge fund Third Point took an 8.24% stake in the company.
Bond prices were flat. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury held at 1.86% from Tuesday, while the 30-year was 3.06%. Bond prices and yields move inversely.