Stocks opened sharply higher on Thursday, pushing the Dow back above the 10,000 mark, as China denied a report it was reviewing its holdings in euro-zone sovereign bonds, easing jitters about the debt crisis.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 176.39 points, or 1.77 percent, at 10,150.84. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 20.76 points, or 1.94 percent, at 1,088.71. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> gained 52.64 points, or 2.40 percent, at 2,248.52.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)