International Business Machines Corp. rebounded from a $2.75 loss to close $2.75 higher, at $96.75. Eastman Kodak Co. jumped $2.625, to $59.75, and AT&T; Corp. climbed $1.375, to $63.
Microsoft shares jumped $4.375, to $91.125. The software maker reported fiscal first-quarter earnings of 78 cents a share after the market closed, up from 51 cents last year and beating estimates of 70 cents.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 11.56, to 4,795.94, only a few points shy of its Sept. 14 record of 4,801.80.
Fewer than 11 stocks fell in price for every 10 that rose on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume jumped to 356.4 million shares from 299.5 million yesterday.
Meanwhile, interest rates continued to fall. Yields on 30-year Treasury bonds fell to 6.28 percent from 6.30 percent yesterday.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 3.75, to 586.78, breaking a Sept. 20 record. Computer and semiconductor stocks contributed the most to the S&P; 500 after Intel Corp. rose $2.375, to $65.50. The world's biggest chip maker said third-quarter net income climbed to $1.05 a share, including a 3-cent gain, from 76 cents last year, above an average estimate of $1.02.
The Nasdaq composite index, dominated by Microsoft and Intel, climbed 17.31, to 1,035.44, its biggest gain in a week. The Philadelphia semiconductor index spurted 18.33, to 261.35, its vTC biggest one-day gain ever.
The American Stock Exchange market value index added 2.00 points, to 536.77, and the Russell 2000 index of small-company shares added 0.50, to 302.7. The Wilshire 5000 climbed 33.83, to 5,806.97.
IBM's rebound figured prominently in the advance. Earlier, it announced weaker-than-expected third-quarter earnings of $2.30 a share, 14 cents beneath estimates, from $1.18 in the year-earlier period. IBM's hardware sales dropped because of product delays and shortages.
Kodak saw third-quarter net income surge to 99 cents a share, higher than analysts' estimate of 93 cents and last year's 57 cents.
AT&T; was boosted by stronger-than-expected earnings from Sprint Corp. and GTE Corp., and by a joint venture agreement with CNN Interactive, a unit of Turner Broadcasting System Inc. Sprint rose 75 cents, to $36, and GTE advanced $1.125, to $40.25.
Of the 141 companies in the S&P; 500 that have so far reported quarterly earnings, 56.7 percent beat forecasts and 31.9 percent lagged.
Besides Kodak, other companies reporting unexpectedly strong profits included Sun Microsystems Inc., Cypress Semiconductor Corp. and Novellus Systems Inc.
Sun shares surged $9.25, to $67.875, lifting its market value above $1 billion, after the maker of computer workstations reported fiscal first-quarter earnings of 85 cents a share, exceeding the average forecast of 65 cents and last year's 40 cents.
Sun's gains were reflected in the Pacific Stock Exchange's Technology Index, which rose 6.98, to 202.07, still below its record of 211 reached Sept. 20.
Cypress, up $3.75, to $36, said third-quarter net income rose to 70 cents a share from 33 cents last year, beating estimates of 58 cents.
Integrated Silicon Solution Inc. jumped $3.9375, to $30, and Integrated Device Technology Inc. surged $3.125, to $23.25. Both companies compete with Cypress.
After the market closed, Integrated Device Technology said second-quarter net rose to 42 cents a share from 24 cents.
Novellus leaped $7, to $62. The maker of integrated-circuit manufacturing equipment posted third-quarter earnings of $1.27, up from 75 cents last year.