The Bombay Stock Exchange's 30-share index Sensex rose 124 points to trade at 19,682 while the National Stock Exchange's 50-share Nifty gained 33 points at 5,956.
Globally, main focus will be the Obama's speech for any clues on a deal with Republicans to avert automatic spending cuts due to take effect March 1.
Equity trading volume was lower than average with markets in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan closed for public holidays. Japan's Nikkei, however, fell 1% to 11,251 today.
Back home, real-estate, autos, capital goods, IT, bank sectors gained while FMCG and power sectors dropepd on BSE.
Among key Sensex stocks, Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra gained 3% and 1.5%, TCS and Infosys added 2% and 1% respectively, Bhrati Airtel was up 2%, Sun Pharma rose 0.4%, ICICI Bank rose 1.4% and HDFC gained 1%, Reliance Industries rose 1% on BSE.
Among losers, Bajaj Auto
fell 1% and Maruti Suzuki
declined 0.5%, HUL dropped 0.7% and BHEL
shed 0.5% respectively on BSE.
The other key notable movers include, Tata Motors which surged nearly 3% after the company's UK subsidiary Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) reported a strong 32% year-on-year (y-o-y) jump in global sales at 34,877 units in the month of January 2013.
Motherson Sumi Systems gained 5% to Rs 200 after the company said it is planning to raise funds by issuing equity shares to qualified institutional buyers and promoters of the company on preferential basis.
Fortis Healthcare advanced 5.5% to Rs 107 on reporting 26-fold rise in consolidated net profit at Rs 705 crore for the quarter ended December 31 2012 (Q3), mainly on account of exceptional one-time net gain of Rs 1,005 crore on dilution of stake in Religare Health Trust (RHT). It had posted net profit of Rs 27.02 crore for the same quarter of last fiscal.
The broader markets traded positive with mid-caps and small-caps gaining 0.4-0.7% on BSE.
The market breadth is positive. Out of 2,673 stocks traded, 1,429 stocks gained compared to 1,130 declines on BSE.