Stocks climbed on Thursday as rising oil prices drove up energy shares and data on orders for durable goods signaled the economy was stabilizing.

Exxon Mobil Corp was among stocks providing the biggest boost to the Dow Jones industrial average after U.S. oil futures rose above $65 per barrel and set a high for the year.

A government report showing crude inventories fell more than expected last week pushed oil prices higher.

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

Stronger-than-expected April data on new orders for durable goods -- long-lasting manufactured items -- kept worries about the economy in check.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 98.84 points, or 1.19 percent, to 8,398.86. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 11.89 points, or 1.33 percent, at 904.95. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 15.73 points, or 0.91 percent, at 1,746.81.

An afternoon auction of 7-year Treasury notes raised no fresh concern about demand for government debt, a contrast to Wednesday's sell-off in stocks and bonds on concern about the ever-expanding amount of U.S. government debt.

Chevron Corp also helped lift the Dow. The stock was up 2.2 percent at $65.99. Exxon was up 1.6 percent at $69.37.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Kenneth Barry)