Stocks finished higher Thursday following a late-day drop in oil prices and news of strong bond auctions in Italy and Spain. Crude dropped below $100 per barrel for the first time this year. In Italy's first bond auction of the new year, it was able to sell one-year bonds at less than half the rate it had to pay last month. Spain was able to raise double the amount of money it had sought to raise in its own bond sale.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 21.57 points, or 0.2 percent, to 12,471.02
The S&P 500 index rose 3.02 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,295.50.
The Nasdaq composite index rose 13.94 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,724.70.
So far this week:
The Dow is up 111.10 points, or 0.9 percent.
The S&P 500 is up 17.69, or 1.4 percent.
The Nasdaq is up 50.48, or 1.9 percent.
For the year to date:
The Dow is up 253.46 points, or 2.1 percent.
The S&P 500 is up 37.90 or 3 percent.
The Nasdaq is up 119.55, or 4.6 percent.