Stocks climbed on Thursday as rising oil prices drove up shares of energy companies and falling yields in the bond market eased concerns that higher borrowing costs would delay an economic recovery.

Exxon Mobil Corp was among stocks giving the Dow the biggest lift as U.S. crude oil settled at $65.08 a barrel, its highest close since November. A report showing crude inventories fell more than expected last week pushed oil higher.

We had the OPEC meeting today, plus we had inventory numbers, and both were favorable for oil. That's helping that whole sector, said Owen Fitzpatrick, head of U.S. Equity Group at Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management in New York. OPEC decided to hold production at current levels.

Equities recovered Wednesday's losses, extending gains late in the session as the bond market rallied.

In the U.S. bond market, benchmark 10-year notes bounced 24/32 higher for a yield of 3.64 percent, 10 basis points lower on the day, after an auction of 7-year Treasury notes. On Wednesday stocks and bonds sold off on concern about the ever-expanding amount of U.S. government debt.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 103.78 points, or 1.25 percent, to finish at 8,403.80. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 13.77 points, or 1.54 percent, at 906.83. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 20.71 points, or 1.20 percent, at 1,751.79.

Investors have grown concerned about the impact of rising bond yields, which move inversely to bond prices, on borrowing costs and economic growth.

Financial shares also helped boost the Dow, with JP Morgan Chase & Co up 5.7 percent at $36.65.

Chevron Corp also led gains in the energy sector. The stock was up 1.9 percent at $65.81. Exxon was up 1.4 percent at $69.23.

Thursday's economic data was mixed, with new orders for durable goods seeing their biggest gain in 16 months, while new home sales rose slightly less than expected.

On the Nasdaq, Costco Wholesale Corp fell 1.8 percent to $47.97 after it posted a quarterly profit that was short of Wall Street's expectations.

Consumer products maker Procter & Gamble

shares rose 1.6 percent to $52.59 despite a disappointing outlook.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Kenneth Barry)