The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) rose more than 63 points as of 11:30 a.m. EST. Dow Jones component Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) was leading the index higher, while other tech stocks, including Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) and LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD.DL), were also on the rise.
New home sales surge
The Dow Jones' rally may have been partially predicated on economic data. The Census Bureau said 468,000 new homes were sold in the U.S. last month, much more than the 400,000 that economists had anticipated.
Better than expected new home sales should be seen as a positive for the economy, as it suggests the U.S. real estate market may be healthier than otherwise believed.
Intel leads Dow Jones higher
Intel shares rose more than 1% early in the session to count among the Dow Jones' top performers. There wasn't much news to explain the chipmaker's rally, but this week at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Intel has expanded on its efforts at breaking into the mobile market.
This year, Intel should roll out two new mobile chips: Merrifield and Moorefield.
There also wasn't much news to explain Twitter's 3.6% rally. To some extent, the move may have simply been the product regular volatility, as Twitter has been a notoriously volatile stock since its initial public offering late last year.
Twitter shares are up more than 25% since that point, but year to-date shares are down more than 10%. Swings of 3% have been fairly common throughout Twitter's short history as a publicly traded company.
LinkedIn moves higher on analyst upgrade
Another social media stock, LinkedIn, was 3% higher in late morning, but there was actual news to explain the move. RBC Capital upgraded LinkedIn early on Wednesday from sector perform to outperform, with a $250 price target, suggesting an upside of about 20% from the current stock level.
RBC cited LinkedIn's recent sell-off as reason enough to upgrade the company, as much of the headwinds facing LinkedIn seem to have faded in recent weeks. RBC said it views LinkedIn's 2014 investments -- a focus on expanding its sales force and building its products -- as a positive for the company, and noted that lowered expectations should help LinkedIn exceed analyst estimates in the coming quarters.