Robust demand at an auction for Treasury debt also eased fears that the government would have to pay higher interest rates to entice buyers.
At the close, the Dow Jones industrial average is up 104 to 8,404 after falling 173 points on Wednesday amid worries about rising interest rates. The S&P 500 index is up 14 to 907, and the Nasdaq composite index is up 21 at 1,752.
Two stocks rose for every one that fell on New York Stock Exchange. Volume was a relatively low at 1.4 billion shares.