Stocks, led by defensive shares, rebounded from prior session losses, as commodities also clawed back higher.

Non-cyclical consumer stocks performed the best, gaining almost 1 percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 65.89 points, or 0.52 percent, to close at 12,695.92. The S&P 500 Index rose 6.57 points, or 0.49 percent, to 1,348.65. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 17.98 points, or 0.63 percent, to 2,863.04.

Early in the session the major indices were down by as much as 0.7 percent, weighed down by falling commodity prices and a gloomy outlook from Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO).

Cisco shares plunged 4.78 percent on the day.

But my midday, commodities recovered, prompting stocks to do likewise.

Crude oil futures rose 0.78 percent to settle at $98.93 per barrel.

Stocks and commodities have moved in unison in recent sessions, suggesting that investors regard higher commodity and energy prices as a sign of healthy demand and a strengthening global economy.

Kohl's Corp. (NYSE:KSS) jumped 3.86 percent after the store chain posted a higher quarterly profit and raised its full-year outlook.

The US dollar fell to the euro, but gained on the pound sterling.

US Treasuries fell as the 10-Year yield moved up to 3.23 percent.
U.S. economic data came in mixed.

Initial jobless claims fell to 434,000 last week, the fourth straight week that figure has remained above 400,000.

Retail sales climbed by 0.5 percent in April, the Commerce Department said, but much of that could be explained by rising gas and food prices.

The Producer Price Index for finished goods edged up 0.8 percent in April, seasonally adjusted. Also, business inventories rose 1 percent in March.

Overseas, European stocks indices all dropped -- Britain's FTSE 100 shed 0.52 percent, Germany’s DAX tumbled 0.68 percent and France's CAC 40 fell 0.86 percent.

Asian markets also declined substantially,

The Shanghai Composite plunged 1.33 percent, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong slipped 0.94 percent and Japan's Nikkei plummeted 1.50 percent.