U.S. stocks climbed on Thursday as energy shares bounced with oil prices, while news Pfizer would buy Hospira in a massive deal further boosted the market.
The S&P energy index <.SPNY> jumped 1.5 percent as oil prices rebounded sharply from a rout in the previous session. U.S. crude
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Some euro zone concerns eased as well. Greece proposed a bridging program until the end of May to allow time for debt talks, vowing to do everything in its power to avoid default. On Wednesday, the European Central Bank abruptly said it would stop accepting Greek bonds in return for funds.
"The market's trying to get its hands around what's going on in Greece. There was an expectation it might blow up. Now, certainly in the short term, it looks like we won't be seeing any fireworks," said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial in Waltham, Mass.
The day's move put the S&P 500 back into positive territory for the year after days of volatile price action, largely driven by moves in oil.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 211.86 points, or 1.2 percent, to 17,884.88, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 21.01 points, or 1.03 percent, to 2,062.52 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 48.39 points, or 1.03 percent, to 4,765.10.
Adding to the upbeat tone, weekly jobless claims rose less than expected last week. The report comes on the heels of a private payrolls report that fell short of expectations on Wednesday and ahead of a monthly employment report on Friday.
Other data showed the U.S. trade deficit in December widened to its highest since 2012, which could dampen the fourth-quarter growth estimate, and nonfarm productivity fell more than expected in the fourth quarter.
After the bell, shares of LinkedIn
About 7 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, below the 8.1 billion average for the last five sessions, according to BATS Global Markets.
NYSE advancing issues outnumbered declining ones 2,349 to 749, for a 3.14-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 2,028 issues rose and 718 fell, for a 2.82-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 43 new 52-week highs and 2 lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 90 new highs and 36 lows.
(By Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Nick Zieminski)