Stocks soared for the second straight day Wednesday, led by shares of energy companies, after oil jumped more than $4 a barrel and a private report showed an unexpected increase in jobs.
The Dow Jones industrials rose more than 180 points, bringing its two-day gain to more than 450.
All 39 energy producers in the Standard & Poor's 500 index advanced, climbing 5.6% as a group, the sector's biggest one-day gain in six years.
But eight of the other nine industry groups in the S&P 500 also finished higher after Automatic Data Processing Inc. reported that U.S. private-sector payrolls grew by 9,000 jobs in July, defying economists' forecasts for a net loss of 60,000 positions.
On Friday, the Labor Department is to issue its report on nonfarm employment and the unemployment rate for July.
The Dow rose 186.13 points, or 1.6%, to 11,583.69. On Tuesday, the blue chips jumped 266 points, more than wiping out a nearly 240-point loss from the previous session.
Broader stock indicators also surged. The Standard & Poor's 500 index advanced 21.06 points, or 1.7%, to 1,284.26, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 10.10 points, or 0.4%, to 2,329.72.
The Russell 2,000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 4.31 points, or 0.6%, to 718.86.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by about 2 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Yields on government bonds climbed. The benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to 4.05% from 4.04% late Tuesday.
The dollar was higher against other major currencies, while gold prices fell.
Oil prices jumped after a weekly Energy Department report showed a surprise decrease in domestic supplies of gasoline and oil.
Crude futures rose $4.58 to settle at $126.77 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
But the commodity remains well below its closing high of $145.27 reached July 3.
Shares of Exxon Mobil, the No. 1 crude producer, advanced $3.48, or 4.3%, to $84.38, while No. 2 Chevron rallied $4.42, or 5.3%, to $87.26.
An index of financial stocks in the S&P 500 rose 2% after the Federal Reserve said it would extend and expand its program of loans to investment banks.
Morgan Stanley climbed $2.10, or 5.8%, to $38.60, while Lehman Bros. Holdings rose $1.35, or 8%, to $18.23.
Among other financial company shares, Wachovia jumped $1.38, or 8.8%, to $17.08 and insurance giant American International Group gained 91 cents, or 3.1%, to $26.76.
MetLife dropped $1.03, or 2%, to $51.78 after the country's biggest life insurer cut its full-year earnings forecast and said operating profit fell short of analysts' forecasts.
In other market highlights:
* Wyeth lost $5.37, or 12%, to $39.74 after its experimental Alzheimer's drug was linked to a brain-swelling side effect in a test. The company's drug, bapineuzumab, developed with Elan Corp., showed no benefit for the majority of Alzheimer's patients.
* CB Richard Ellis Group and Jones Lang LaSalle plunged after the commercial real estate brokers reported declines in second-quarter earnings, citing weakness in property sales and leasing stemming from the credit crisis. Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis sank $4.62, or 25%, to $14.03. Chicago-based Jones Lang slumped $8.48, or 15%, to $48.25.
* Lake Forest-based Apria Healthcare Group, the largest U.S. provider of home medical equipment, fell 29 cents, or 1.5%, to $19.38 after delaying a conference call with investors, saying it needed to analyze a possible misstatement in its accounts. The stock has fallen 10% this year.
* Cummins rose $4.48, or 6.8%, to $70.50 after the engine maker posted better-than-expected second-quarter earnings and boosted its full-year revenue forecast, citing strong overseas sales.
* Office Depot dropped 13 cents, or 1.9%, to $6.77. The office supply retailer's second-quarter earnings excluding one-time items surpassed expectations, but slow domestic demand weighed on the results.
* Stocks surged overseas. Key indexes climbed 1.6% in Japan, 1.9% in Britain, 1% in Germany and 1.9% in France.