Major Averages End Higher, Despite Losing Earlier Gains

The bulls pulled out a win Thursday; all the major averages ended higher, even after giving back earlier gains. The Dow finished up 77 points, after seeing highs of more than 180 points earlier in the session. The S&P rose half a percent, as the Nasdaq climbed nearly 1%.

Technology and health care were the day's winning sectors. They're also the top performing sectors so far this week.

Shares of makeup giant Avon were temporarily halted, then sank nearly 10% after the company announced it's in talks with private equity firms about a potential sale of perhaps part of its business. The company said it is conducting an auction process with firms including Cerberus Capital and Platinum Equity.

Oil rallied, recouping losses from a day earlier. Crude tacked on 4% or $1.77 to settle at $5.92 a barrel. Despite news that supplies of crude oil and refined products rose to a record high, oil managed to hold its gains after weekly data showed a drop in U.S. production.

Gold futures also settled higher, rebounding from a one-month low. The yellow metal picked up nearly 1% to settle at $1,109 an ounce.