"Bottom line, Draghi didn't bring the meat the market dogs were hoping for as he seems to be standing pat for now, likely waiting for more stress to envelope before announcing something new of substance," wrote Peter Boockvar, managing director at Miller Tabak & Co.
But European shares closed higheramid hopes for further stimulus to boost the euro zone.
Facebook ended higher in choppy trading after JMP Securities started coverage of the social-networking giant with a "market outperform" rating and a $37 price target. The company closed below $26 a share in the previous session.
Meanwhile, Nasdaq OMX said it plans to set up a $40 million fundto compensate some financial firms that lost money after Facebook's botched market debuton the exchange last month. The plan applies to sell orders at $42 or less that did not execute and buy orders at $42 executed but not confirmed.
Financials led the market rally with BofA posting its biggest one-day rally this year. Morgan Stanley also jumped after news the firm was considering a partial sale of its commodities trading division. Citigroup and JPMorgan were also higher.
Groupon rallied after the daily-deal website's rating was raised to "hold" from "sell" at Stifel.
Oil prices rallied, while gold touched a one-month highto settle above $1,630 an ounce. Halliburton turned lower after the oilfield-services company said its decline in margins from last quarter will twice what the firm had initially expected, due to fracking costs related to guar gum. Shares were temporarily halted earlier.
Chesapeake jumped following a report that the energy company will be selling nearly all of its pipeline assets to in a deal worth more than $4 billion.
Tempur-Pedic plunged nearly 50 percent after the mattress maker slashed its full-year earnings and revenue outlookdue to increasing competition in North America. This comes after Mattress Firm missed revenue expectations on Tuesday and handed in weak quarterly revenue estimates. Smaller rivals Sealy and Select Comfort also fell sharply.
Iron Mountain surged to lead the S&P 500 gainers after the document storage company announced it will convert to a real estate investment trust. In addition, at least two brokerages boosted their price targets on the firm.
On the economic front, U.S. productivity fell more than expectedat a 0.9 percent annual rate in the first quarter, according to the Labor Department. Mortgage applications gained last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
—By CNBC’s JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter:
Coming Up This Week:
THURSDAY: Bank of England announcement, jobless claims, Bernanke speaks, quarterly services survey, Fed's Lockhart speaks, Fed's Kocherlakota speaks, consumer credit; Earnings from Lululemon Athletica, JM Smucker
FRIDAY: International trade, wholesale trade, Fed's Kocherlakota speaks, Chesapeake annual meeting
More From CNBC.com: