The stock market is turning higher as the price of oil steadied near six-year lows and a report showed U.S. businesses hiring more workers.
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European markets also climbed Wednesday after weak inflation figures for the region raised speculation of further help from the European Central Bank.
The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 148 points, or 0.9 percent, to 17,523 as of 11:45 a.m. Eastern time.
The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 19 points, or 1 percent, to 2,021. The Nasdaq rose 46 points, or 1 percent, to 4,639.
Crude oil rose 53 cents to $48.47 a barrel in New York.
J.C. Penney soared 19 percent after the beleaguered retail store reported gains in holiday sales.
Government bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.98 percent.