In New York, stocks rose Thursday after government data showed first-time claims for jobless benefits fell to a three-year low, raising hopes the labour market is improving.
The Dow Jones Industrials remained in the green 67.05 points to greet noon Thursday at 11,890.50
The S&P 500 progressed 4.69 points, to 1,216.51, while the Nasdaq Composite prospered 2.31 points to 2,541.62
Often considered a bellwether of the economy, FedEx reported better-than-expected income in its second fiscal quarter, with earnings per share of $1.57 U.S. Shares rose in early trading.
Shares of Novellus Systems climbed after Lam Research Corp announced it will acquire the company in a $3.3-billion U.S. transaction. Both companies are large manufacturers of semiconductors, used in chips.
Michael Kors stock debuted on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, after the fashion brand raised $944 million U.S. in its initial public offering the previous evening. The IPO was the largest ever for a U.S. fashion company.
Thursday's rally comes after three days of losses on Wall Street. On Wednesday, stocks fell 1% as concerns about the European debt crisis and the euro's slide weighed on the market.
Europe's debt woes have been the main market driver since at least September. Investors are concerned that government policies meant to correct the crisis will not be enough to prevent a banking crisis that could ripple across the global financial system.
On the economic front, the number of people filing for initial unemployment benefits fell to 366,000 in the latest week -- the lowest level since May 2008, and well below analysts' estimates. Analysts surveyed by Briefing.com expected initial jobless claims for the week ended Dec. 10 to hit 390,000 -- up from 381,000 the week prior.
Elsewhere, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Producer Price Index for November increased by 0.3%, higher than expected. The index dropped 0.3% in October.
Industrial production for November declined 0.2% after a 0.7% gain in October
The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury increased by late morning, pushing the yield back down to 1.90% Wednesday. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil for January delivery ducked back 58 cents to $94.37 U.S. a barrel.
Gold futures for February delivery fell $6.80 to $1,580.10 U.S. an ounce.