U.S. indices were all sharply higher midday Wednesday, despite headwinds from falling crude prices.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.8%, the S&P 500 was rising 0.7% and the Nasdaq was leading the way, climbing over 1% Wednesday afternoon.
Industry standard Brent crude for June delivery was down $0.33 to $44.36 per barrel while West Texas crude was down $0.11 to $42.06 per barrel. Despite the declines, the commodity did narrow some of the losses from morning trading.
Shares of JPMorgan Chase (JPM) were climbing more than 4% on heavy volume Wednesday, following the release of the bank's first-quarter earnings results before the opening bell on Wednesday. The large bank reported earnings of $1.35 per share, topping analyst estimates of $1.26.
Action Alerts PLUS holding Facebook (FB) shares were declining midday, during the second day of the company's annual F8 developer conference in San Francisco. Facebook shares were down 1.2% on heavy volume.
Valeant Pharmaceutical (VRX) shares were climbing on heavy volume despite news that the beleaguered company's bondholders filed a letter of default over the company's delayed filing of its annual 10-k statement.
Railroad company CSX (CSX) was gaining on heavy volume after the company topped analysts' bottom-line estimates, though it did miss top-line expectations. The company earned $0.37 per share in the concluded quarter, beating analyst estimates by a penny.
Peabody Energy (BTU) shares were halted from trading after the country's largest coal producer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. "This was a difficult decision, but it is the right path forward for Peabody," President and CEO Glenn Kellow stated. "Through today's action, we will seek an in-court solution to Peabody's substantial debt burden amid a historically challenged industry backdrop."