Stocks recovered yesterday's losses to close higher, with the S&P 500 reclaiming the 1,750 mark, as investors cheered upbeat earnings reports and positive economic data from China.
U.S. stocks followed global markets higher after Chinese manufacturing data suggested the country's economy will reach the 7.5% growth target for the year.
The Dow climbed nearly 100 points, boosted by Visa and Home Depot; the blue-chip index is now within 1.5 percent of its all-time high.
Homebuilder stocks rallied after Pulte's earnings report, which showed revenue rising on an increase in home prices and closings; shares jumped 7%.
Telecoms trailed, pressured as AT&T's Q3 revenue came in below estimates.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury edged up to 2.51%, the dollar fell again vs. the euro, and gold continues to firm, up 1.2% to $1,350/oz.