Major U.S. indices have continued their strong start to the day with each rising 0.5% midday on Wednesday.
The market recovery was driven by increased confidence from investors following dovish comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. On Tuesday, Yellen made cautious statements regarding raising interest rates due to global and financial uncertainties affecting the U.S. economy.
Crude prices are also benefitting from the renewed investor confidence, as the dollar is declining and the commodity is rising today. International standard Brent crude contracts for May delivery are up $0.41 to $39.55 per barrel while West Texas crude futures are up $0.26 to $38.54 per barrel.
Oil stocks were benefitting from the rise in prices with Petrobras (PBR) jumping 4%, ConocoPhillips (COP) climbing 0.5% and BP (BP) gaining 1.5%.
Argos Therapeutics (ARGS) was spiking 16% following the release of its latest quarterly results. The company posted a loss of $0.84 per share in the period, $0.04 better than analysts' $0.88 per share loss estimate.
Shares of 3M (MMM) were climbing after the company reiterated its full-year guidance and announced its five-year financial goals. The company forecast earnings growth between 8% and 11% per share through the end of the decade.
Apple -- a holding of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio -- was rising on heavy volume after the company was upgraded to Outperform by analysts at Cowen and Company today. The firm also upped the company's price target to $135 from $125 on the prospect of an increase in sales this fall following the release of the company's latest iPhones. (Real Money's Carleton English discusses the Apple upgrade here.)
Shares of Sonic (SONC) were up 5% on earnings news, with the chain restaurant reporting earnings of $10.8 million, or $0.18 per share on an adjusted basis vs. Wall Street's $0.16 expectation. "Sonic reported unbelievable same-store sales...They have very centralized value meals, they're a great franchiser, they're buying back stock and beef costs are down," commented Real Money's Jim Cramer.
Finally, Lululemon Athletica (LULU) was gaining following the release of the company's fourth-quarter results. Strong holiday sales led the company to earn $0.85 per share, a nickel better than analysts were expecting. Revenue for the period rose 17% year over year to $704.3 million. (Click here to read Real Money's take on LULU.)