Signs that the U.S. economy is improving helped investors put aside fears over Japan's nuclear crisis Thursday, if only temporarily. A gauge of manufacturing in the mid-Atlantic region jumped in February to the highest point since January 1984. All 10 company groups in the S&P 500 index rose.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 161.29 points, or 1.4 percent, to 11,774.59.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 16.84, or 1.3 percent, to 1,273.72.
The Nasdaq composite gained 19.23, or 0.7 percent, to 2,636.05.
For the week:
The Dow is down 269.81, or 2.2 percent.
The S&P is down 30.56, or 2.3 percent.
The Nasdaq is down 79.56, or 2.9 percent.
For the year to date:
The Dow is up 197.08, or 1.7 percent.
The S&P is up 16.08 or 1.3 percent.
The Nasdaq is down 16.82, or 0.6 percent.