Wall Street's main indexes had come under pressure in recent days on expectations of a longer rate-hike cycle and downbeat economic views from some top company executives.
But Thursday, a rise in weekly jobless claims was interpreted by investors as a sign the Fed could soon slow the pace of interest rate hikes.
The Dow closed up more than half a percent, the S&P gained three-quarters of a percent and the Nasdaq climbed more than 1.1%.
Sylvia Jablonski, CEO and chief investment officer of Defiance ETFs, expects stocks to be stuck in a tight trading range for now.
"Here we are again with a little bit of additional data showing us that there is weakness in the economy and perhaps inflation will come down for that reason. But I think overall markets are going to be directionless for some time. [FLASH] I think we'll have some pullbacks and then we'll have some pops off of those pullbacks. But they'll probably stay in a trading range because we need to get past the next earnings season. [FLASH] So I do think that there's not a whole lot to make of the day to day movements from here on in. I think it's going to be kind of sleepy couple of months, might get some rallies in between. But we have some, we have some time before we get to the point that the Fed just stops and that, you know, we start seeing that earnings were resilient enough for us to sort of move on up and start trending upward."
Among Thursday's gainers, most mega-cap technology and growth stocks rose, such as Apple, Nvidia and Amazon.com.
The e-commerce giant made a bold move by announcing Thursday that it will roll out a TikTok-like feed on its app, hoping to attract new shoppers through a stream of photos and videos from their favorite influencers.
Amazon had weeks ago warned of a slow holiday season amid decades-high inflation.
In other tech news, Microsoft closed higher after the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint aimed at blocking the tech giant's $69 billion bid to buy Activision Blizzard, maker of the popular "Call of Duty" games.
And in pharmaceutical stocks, Moderna advanced after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized COVID-19 shots from the vaccine maker that target both the original coronavirus and Omicron sub-variants for use in children as young as six months of age.
The FDA also approved similar guidance for fellow COVID vaccine maker Pfizer and its partner BioNTech, which both ended higher.