Stocks surged 3 percent on Thursday as a long-awaited agreement by European leaders to contain the region's two-year debt crisis lifted a cloud hovering over markets.

Based on the latest available data, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 340.19 points, or 2.87 percent, at 12,209.23. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 42.57 points, or 3.43 percent, at 1,284.57. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 87.96 points, or 3.32 percent, at 2,738.63.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Kenneth Barry)