Investors kept a close watch on developments in Europe, after The Wall Street Journal reported that the European Central Bank, one of Greece's largest creditors, agreed to include its bonds in the debt restructuring.
Asian exchanges finished broadly higher. China's Shanghai Composite led the way with a 2.4% gain after China's central bank said it would help support first-time home buyers. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average rose 1.1%.
Walt Disney gained 1.1% after the blue-chip entertainment company reported earnings that topped estimates.
Sprint Nextel rose 0.4% after the wireless carrier posted a rare gain in contract subscribers due in part to offering the iPhone for the first time on its network.
Ralph Lauren surged 9.5%. The upscale retailer forecast continuing strong sales, calling for an increase of 20% in the current year.