U.S. stocks finished broadly higher Wednesday, giving the S&P 500 its third gain in as many days.

Energy companies rose more than the rest of the market, riding a big upturn in crude oil prices. Solid gains in industrial stocks and retailers outweighed losses among food and beverage companies, technology stocks and banks.

Investors continued to bid up companies that reported positive earnings or outlooks. Not all companies delivered welcome results. IBM slumped 7.5 percent, single-handedly pulling the Dow Jones industrial average into the red.

“Earnings are the principal thing this week,” said Paul Christopher, head of global market strategy for Wells Fargo Investment Institute. “The market wants to see more consistent evidence of strong earnings.”

The S&P 500 index rose 2.25 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,708.64. The Dow slid 38.56 points, or 0.2 percent, to 24,748.07. The Nasdaq composite gained 14.14 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,295.24. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 3.76 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,583.56.

The major stock indexes are all on track to finish the week higher.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.87 percent from 2.83 percent late Tuesday.

Investors continued to sift through corporate earnings reports. Financial analysts are forecasting the strongest growth in seven years for S&P 500 companies, partly because of a resurgent global economy, but also because of expectations that the tax cut will have on corporate balance sheets.


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