The Dow Jones industrial average rose 5.54 points to 9,345.62, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 27.10 points, or 1.5 percent, to 1,731.54. CNET's technology indexes were mixed.
A warning from telecommunications giant AT&T and photo-film company Eastman Kodak put pressure on the blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average, but a few positive reports lifted the Nasdaq despite negative news from Amazon.com and a mediocre quarter from Compaq Computer.
"Investors are just looking for (something) less negative to get encouraged about the market. They don't need overwhelming positives," said Ned Riley, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors.
Citrix Systems was one of the bright spots among technology stocks. The software maker gained $3.35, or about 15.5 percent, to $24.72 after announcing Tuesday that its quarterly net income rose 28 percent to $27.8 million.
Compaq inched up 34 cents to $9.74 after reporting Tuesday night that its third-quarter operating loss was in line with estimates. The PC maker also said it expects the fourth quarter to be weak as a price war in the sector continues. Rival Dell Computer rose 26 cents to $24.90.
Nextel Communications gained $1.29 to $8.69 after reporting a 30 percent increase in revenue as its subscriber growth met estimates.
AT&T fell $1.36 to $16.34 after announcing Tuesday that its third-quarter profits fell. The company on Wednesday said its representatives are leaving Excite@Home's board of directors.
Amazon.com was another low point among tech companies' quarterly reports. Shares were down $1.91, or 20 percent, to $7.64 after the online retailer posted a loss that met expectations and warned that fourth-quarter sales growth could be lower than Wall Street expected.
CNET's Semiconductor index fell 3.52 percent. Intel rose 48 cents to $25.48.
Among other actively traded shares, Cisco Systems rose 82 cents to $17.23, Oracle lost 35 cents to $14.66, and Microsoft rose 89 cents to $61.32.
AOL Time Warner fell 79 cents to $32.10, and Yahoo rose 37 cents to $11.95.
Staff and Reuters contributed to this report.