Stocks advanced more than 2 percent on Thursday in another volatile session as upbeat results from Cisco and a better-than-expected labor market report offset renewed concerns about the euro zone banking system.
On Wednesday, all three major indexes tumbled more than 4 percent on fears over the French banking system's exposure to troubled euro zone sovereign debt and the possible effects on U.S. banks. The Dow has swung in a range of more than 400 points for five straight days, underscoring the volatility.
European shares cut losses, rising 0.4 percent in choppy trade on Thursday after French President Nicolas Sarkozy's office said he was to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss euro zone issues. <.EU>
We're being driven by the news flow out of Europe, and until we get clarity, it's hard to get much traction. At the same time, we're also very oversold, said Art Hogan, managing director of Lazard Capital Markets in Boston.
When we hear of steps being taken to address the situation, the market catches a bit of a bid, but then another news story will come out and we sell off. Volatility is really the word of the week.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> jumped 191.63 points, or 1.79 percent, at 10,911.57. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 22.99 points, or 2.05 percent, at 1,143.75. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> added 54.52 points, or 2.29 percent, at 2,435.57.
The latest U.S. economic data offered some relief as the government reported that weekly initial jobless claims fell to their lowest level since April.
The Nasdaq climbed on strength in Cisco Systems Inc
Sara Lee Corp