(REUTERS) -- Stocks rose on Thursday after a sharp drop in the last session but elevated Italian bond yields and a weak reading on jobless claims capped gains.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 51.77 points, or 0.43 percent, to 12,203.18. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index  gained 4.84 points, or 0.39 percent, to 1,254.48. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 6.52 points, or 0.25 percent, to 2,596.50.