The dollar was higher against most major currencies on Thursday as stocks rose for a third time in the last four sessions even after the latest report on employment showed that a record amount of workers were continuing to claim jobless benefits and a final reading on Q4 GDP showed corporate profits declined the most since 1953 last year.

The S&P 500 is up nearly 23% over the past two weeks.

When the government auctions bonds, as it did yesterday and today, markets focus on that because it's so critical for economic recovery, said Matthew Carniol, chief currency strategist at If demand is weak rates will rise, complicating the government's efforts to get the economy out of the recession.

Stocks and Treasury prices were lifted Thursday after a well-bid $24 billion seven-year note sale. On Wednesday, an auction which showed weaker demand sent stocks into a steep mid-day decline. The bid-to-cover ratio in today's sale was 2.52 versus 2.11 at the last seven-year sale, and indirect bidders, domestic and foreign institutions, including foreign central banks, accounted for 28% of the total award.

At Thursday’s close of floor trading on the NYSE, the DOW was on 7924.56 with a gain of 174.75 points (2.25%) while the S&P finished on 832.83, up 18.95 points (2.33%). The technology-heavy NASDAQ closed on 1587.00 after rising 58.05 points (3.80%).

The dollar traded mixed but was mostly higher. On the day, the greenback ended with a gain of 0.41% on the euro, 0.71% against the pound and 1.09% on the yen as it fell 0.66% against Australia's currency.

Treasuries rose for the first time in six days as concern declined that record U.S. debt sales would overwhelm demand after a $24 billion auction drew stronger demand than last month’s sale. Yield on the 2-year note fell 5.1 basis points to 0.902% while yield on the 10-year note fell 5.2 basis points to 2.748%.

Crude for April delivery was recently trading up $1.52 (2.86%) to $54.25 per barrel.

Gold for April delivery was recently trading up $3.40 (0.36%) to $938.80 per ounce.