Stock indexes hit session highs Thursday afternoon, with the Dow industrials and Nasdaq Composite up more than 1 percent after the European Central Bank left in place a liquidity safety net for vulnerable banks, and U.S. data gave extra support to equities.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 117.72 points, or 1.05 percent, to 11,373.50. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 15.66 points, or 1.30 percent, to 1,221.73. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> added 28.07 points, or 1.10 percent, to 2,577.50.

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)