U.S. stocks ended higher on Thursday as economic bellwether FedEx offered a bullish profit outlook in a hopeful sign for growth

Based on the latest available data, the Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 42.01 points, or 0.37 percent, to end at 11,499.48. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 7.66 points, or 0.62 percent, to 1,242.89. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> advanced 20.09 points, or 0.77 percent, to 2,637.31.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Kenneth Barry)