U.S. stocks turned higher in morning trade on Thursday, boosted by stronger-than-expected earnings from Wal-Mart Stores Inc and gains in the financial sector.

A top advancer in the financial sector was Bank of America Corp after a filing showed hedge fund manager John Paulson stocked up on shares of the bank.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 31.89 points, or 0.34 percent, to 9,393.50. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 5.67 points, or 0.56 percent, to 1,011.48. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> added 12.65 points, or 0.63 percent, to 2,011.37.

(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)