Stocks will likely remain tied to oil price moves Thursday, but stabilization in the commodity should support gains.
If equities rise, the S&P 500 will have a chance at testing its resistance level of 1,950.
"I suspect we get above that this time," said Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at R.W. Baird, pointing to Wednesday's encouraging recovery in stocks. The major U.S. averages swung from an intraday decline of more than 1.5 percent to close positively.