Stocks surged, buoyed by the successful huge initial public offering of General Motors (NYSE: GM), reports that the Republic of Ireland will receive a bailout to solve its troubled banking system and better-than-expected manufacturing activity data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 173.35 points, or 1.57 percent, to 11,181.23. The S&P 500 index gained 18.10 points, or 1.54 percent, to 1,196.69; and the Nasdaq advanced 38.39 points, or 1.55 percent, 2,514.40

Shares of GM opened at about $35 per share, $2 above the offering price and trading actively throughout the day. The company raised in excess of $20-billion.

The Labor Department said the number of people filing for initial unemployment benefits rose by 2,000 to 439,000, while analysts had expected an increase to 442,000.

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve index, a regional gauge on manufacturing, surged to 22.5 -- up from 1 in October, far above economists’ expectations

The Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators leapt by 0.5 percent, after rising 0.5 percent the previous month.

Staples (NASDAQ: SPLS) rose 1.92 percent after posting earnings that were in line with analyst expectations.

Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD) plunged 3.78 percent after reporting results far worse than analysts expected.

Oil futures surged more than 2 percent; gold rose by more than 1 percent.

European/UK stocks indices showed healthy gains on news of a possible Irish debt-relief bailout.