Stocks opened higher on Thursday as a rise in oil prices lifted energy shares, tempering concerns that the pace of the economic recovery may be slow.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 38.92 points, or 0.45 percent, to 8,777.94. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 3.02 points, or 0.32 percent, to 942.17. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> added 3.80 points, or 0.21 percent, to 1,856.88.