Stocks climbed higher Wednesday, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq each reaching fresh closing highs, as banks and reopening stocks carried the broader market amid the extended COVID vaccine approval rally.

The 10-year Treasury yield rose as high as 1.352% Wednesday, marking its highest level since earlier this month when the benchmark reached 1.364%. The rising yield boosted shares of banks like JPMorgan (JPM  ) and Wells Fargo (WFC  ) up around 2%.

Here's how the market settled on Wednesday:

S&P 500 Index (SPY  ): +0.22% or +9.96 points to 4,496.19

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA  ): +0.11% or +39.24 points to 35,405.50

Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ  ): +0.15% or +22.06 points to 15,041.86

Delta Air Lines to increase health insurance premiums for unvaccianted employees:

Delta Air Lines (DAL  ) CEO Ed Bastian notified employees Wednesday that they will face a $200 monthly increases to their health insurance premiums starting Nov. 1 if they do not get vaccinated against COVID-19. Unvaccinated employees will also be required to wear masks indoors immediately and submit to weekly COVID-19 testing starting Sept. 12.

"The average hospital stay for COVID-19 has cost Delta $50,000 per person," Bastian said in an employee memo, reported by CNBC. "This surcharge will be necessary to address the financial risk the decision to not vaccinate is creating for our company. In recent weeks since the rise of the B.1.617.2 variant, all Delta employees who have been hospitalized with COVID were not fully vaccinated."

Wells Fargo Securities sees more S&P 500 gains this year:

Wells Fargo Securities head of equity strategy Christopher Harvey lifted the firm's year-end S&P 500 target to 4,825 on Tuesday, which is about 7% higher then its current value on Wednesday.

"Over the last 31 years, there have been nine instances where the S&P 500 had a price return of 10%+ in the first eight month of the year; over the next four months, the index averaged another +8.4%. None of these instances produced a negative return during those last four months," Harvey wrote in a note to clients, quoted by CNBC.

Mortgage applications rise in latest weekly survey:

Mortgage applications rose last week by 1.6% overall for the week ended August 20, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) weekly survey published Wednesday, following a decline of 3.9% for the previous week.

Under the headline, the week's rise was driven by home purchases, which rose by 3% week-over-week on a seasonally adjusted basis, while purchases dropped 16% on an unadjusted basis and refinancies increased by 1%.

"Treasury yields fell last week, as investors continue to anxiously monitor if the rise in COVID-19 cases in several starts to dampen economic activity. Mortgage rates slightly declined as a result, with the 30-year fixed rate decreasing for the first time in three week," said Joel Kan, MBA's associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, in a press statement. "Lower rates led to an increase in refinance applications, with government loan applications jumping 10% to the highest level since May 2021."

Here's how market benchmarks started trading soon after opening bell:

S&P 500 Index: +0.10% or +4.65 points to 4,490.89

Dow Jones Industrial Average: +0.01% or +2.98 points to 35,369.24

Nasdaq Composite Index: +0.09% or +13.50 points to 15,028.79