Signs of progress in Europe's debt crisis and an unexpected drop in unemployment claims pushed stocks higher Thursday, a day after the stock market took its worst fall since the summer.
Greece named a new prime minister Thursday and Italy borrowed $6.8 billion at lower interest rates than analysts expected. Italy's benchmark rate dropped below 7 percent after spiking above that level Wednesday.
Investors were also relieved by talk that the economist Mario Monti is likely to replace Premier Silvio Berlusconi, who was seen as an obstacle to meaningful economic reforms.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 112.92 points, or 1 percent, to close at 11,893.86.
The S&P 500 index gained 10.60, or 0.9 percent, to 1,239.70.
The Nasdaq rose 3.50 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,625.15.
For the week:
The Dow is down 89.38, or 0.7 percent.
The S&P 500 is down 13.53, or 1.1 percent.
The Nasdaq is down 61, or 2.3 percent.
For the year to date:
The Dow is up 316.35, or 2.7 percent.
The S&P 500 is down 17.94, or 1.4 percent.
The Nasdaq is down 27.72, or 1 percent.