US stocks opened higher Wednesday after Bank of America Corporation reported strong fourth-quarter earnings and revenues.
Before the opening bell, Bank of America said its net income for the fourth quarter of 2013 surged to 3.4 billion U.S. dollars, or 29 cents per diluted share, compared to 732 million dollars, or 3 cents a share, in the year-ago period.
The company's total revenue in the quarter rose 15 percent year on year to 21.7 billion dollars. Bank of America shares advanced 3.07 percent to trade at 17.28 dollars a share in the morning session.
Fourth-quarter results from all the six major U.S. banks will be released by the end of this week. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo reported earnings on Tuesday and officially kicked off a new earnings season.
On the economic front, manufacturing activity in the New York region expanded at a faster pace in January, with the general business conditions index rising to 12.5, its highest level in more than a year, said the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Wednesday.
Moreover, the U.S. Producer Price Index for finished goods advanced 0.4 percent in December on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Labor Department reported.
In corporate news, Apple shares jumped 2.42 percent to trade at 559.64 dollars a share in early trading, as China Mobile, the world's biggest mobile network, will start selling iPhone models on Friday. The Chinese telecom giant has reportedly received 1.2 million pre-orders.
Investors will also pay attention to the Federal Reserve's Beige Book due out on Wednesday afternoon.
On the previous trading day, Wall Street had its best day of the year as the U.S. stock market rallied on better-than-expected retail sales data.
Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 33.97 points, or 0.21 percent, to 16,407.83. The S&P 500 gained 4.38 points, or 0.24 percent, to 1,843.26. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 18.03 points, or 0.43 percent, to 4,201.05.