Earnings Drive Gains Midday

(AP) -- Stocks moved higher in midday trading Wednesday after several big U.S. companies reported strong quarterly results. Technology companies accounted for much of the market's gain, outweighing losses in health care and other sectors. Oil prices headed lower. The market was coming off a two-day losing streak and its biggest drop since August. Bond prices fell, sending yields higher.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 5 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,827 as of 11:38 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 154 points, or 0.6 percent, to 26,231. The Nasdaq added 20 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,422. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 2 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,580.

THE QUOTE: "The markets have turned around," said Erik Davidson, chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank. "Many people have been waiting for it to dip as it's marched higher and higher, and we finally had two days of weakness, particularly yesterday."

THE FED SPEAKS: Investors were awaiting the Federal Reserve's latest policy statement, which was due out Wednesday afternoon. The statement follows a two-day meeting of the central bank's policymakers, including Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who is stepping down when her term expires at the end of this week. The Fed has signaled it could raise its benchmark interest rate three times this year, but analysts don't expect the first hike to be announced before the Fed's March meeting.

TECH SURGE: Technology companies posted solid gains, recouping some of their losses from a day earlier. Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices added 60 cents, or 4.7 percent, to $13.47, while Electronic Arts rose $9.17, or 7.7 percent, to $127.88.

HIGH FLYER: Boeing climbed 5.8 percent after the aerospace giant's latest quarterly earnings topped Wall Street's expectations. The stock, which has been the biggest gainer in the Dow over the past year, added $19.44 to $357.15.

UNDER THE WEATHER: Health care stocks, including several drugmakers, were among the biggest decliners for the second day in a row. Eli Lilly lost $3.51, or 4.1 percent, to $82.58, while Gilead Sciences gave up $2.89, or 3.3 percent, to $84.40.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 22 cents to $64.28 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, declined 17 cents to $68.35 in London.

The decline in oil prices pulled energy sector stocks lower. Range Resources fell 35 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $14.28.

BOND YIELDS: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.74 percent from 2.72 percent late Tuesday.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 109.27 yen from 108.78 yen on Tuesday. The euro strengthened to $1.2438 from $1.2404.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: Germany's DAX fell 0.2 percent, while France's CAC 40 gained less than 0.1 percent. London's FTSE 100 fell 0.8 percent. In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 fell 0.8 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.9 percent. Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 added 0.3 percent.