U.S. stocks got a break on news that Italy has struck a deal with the European Central Bank (ECB) for the latter to buy Italian government bonds in the open market.
The S&P 500 Index is up 7.84 points, or 0.65 percent, to trade at 1,207.91 at 2:38 p.m. ET. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 116.21 points, or 1.02 percent, to trade at 11,499.89. The NASDAQ Composite is still down 0.23 percent.
Over the past few sessions, yields on Italian sovereign bonds have soared as bond vigilantes honed in on Italy's high debt levels and bleak growth prospects. Italy is the third largest economy in the euro zone and a full-blown debt crisis there could prove disastrous.
On Thursday, Italy's soaring yields was a major cause of the mini-melt down in global risk assets.
On Friday, multiple media outlets reported that the ECB has agreed in principle to directly purchase Italian bonds provided that the country speed up its austerity measures.
Subsequently, Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi announced a series of accelerated measures to balance the budget, which is widely believed to have paved the way for ECB purchases of Italian bonds.
Earlier in the U.S. session, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the July jobs report, which showed that the U.S. economy added 117,000 jobs in that month.
While the report exceeded the pessimistic projection of economists, it continued to confirm the weakness of the U.S. economy and jobs market, which began to noticeably deteriorate beginning in May of 2011.