U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday, buoyed by better-than-expected U.S. economic indicators, an upbeat report from the Federal Reserve and a World Bank decision to hike its global growth forecasts for this year.

At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.66%, the S&P 500 index rose 0.52%, while the Nasdaq Composite index rose 0.76%.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said that its general business conditions index jumped to 12.51 in January from an upwardly revised 2.22 in December. Analysts were expecting the index to rise to only 3.75.

Elsewhere, U.S. wholesale prices beat expectations.

The U.S. producer price index rose 0.4% in December, the biggest increase since June, recovering from a 0.1% decline in November and was 1.2% higher from a year earlier.

Core PPI was up 0.3% in December and rose 1.4% on a year-over year basis, compared to expectations for a monthly increase of 0.1% and an annual gain of 1.3%.

Also boosting stock prices, the Federal Reserve released its Beige Book earlier, which said the U.S. economy continues to expand at a moderate pace.

Separately, the World Bank predicted earlier the global economy will expand 3.2% this year, up from a June forecast calling for 3% growth, which sent investors seeking risk-on asset classes chasing stocks.

On the earnings front, Bank of America reported earnings and revenue that beat Wall Street forecasts, which also added to the rally.

Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included JPMorgan, up 3.04%, Microsoft, up 2.72%, and Verizon, up 2.52%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average''s worst performers included Merck, down 0.92%, Wal-Mart Stores, down 0.38%, and Exxon Mobil, down 0.34%.

European indices, meanwhile, finished higher.

After the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 rose 1.36%, France''s CAC 40 rose 1.45%, while Germany''s DAX 30 rose 2.03%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 finished up 0.78%.

On Thursday, the U.S. is to publish reports on consumer price inflation and initial jobless claims, in addition to data on manufacturing activity in Philadelphia. Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is to speak at an event in Washington.

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