The Dow Jones Industrial Average logged a three-day gain, jumping 113.90 points, or 0.87 percent, to end at 13,204.62, led by Wal-Mart and Chevron .
The S&P 500 rose 9.29 points, or 0.67 percent, to finish at 1,399.98, while the Nasdaq climbed 20.98 points, or 0.69 percent, to close at 3,050.61.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, fell to end near 16.
Most S&P sectors logged a gain, led by telecoms and consumerdiscretionary, while materials continued to trade lower.
"It’s been a stop-go recovery—we’ve had very strong jobs data for a few months, probably too strong given the pace of the economy, now I think we’re going to get a bit of a lull," said Joshua Feinman, chief economist at Deutsche Bank Advisors on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” "We are still making progress, but it’s coming in fits and starts."
New claims for unemployment benefits declined last week by 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 388,000, according to the Labor Department, but the four-week moving average jumped 6,250 to 381,750, the highest since January. Meanwhile, pending home sales rose 4.1 percent in March, hitting its highest level in almost two years, according to the National Association of Realtors' monthly survey.
Stocks jumped in the previous session, thanks to Apple's blowout quarterly results. Apple ended slightly lower following Wednesday's strong rally that pushed the stock to $610 a share.
In addition, Wall Street cheered statements from Federal Reserve that the central bank remains prepared to take actionto help the economy.
"The hurdle is that things have to get worse in the economy," noted Feinman. "If the economy continues to do what it’s been doing, I don’t think the Fed’s going to do QE...So the people who are hoping for QE, be careful what you wish for because you’re only going to get it if the economy falters."