Stocks End Higher, but Is There More Upside?

U.S. stocks ended higher Thursday thanks to signs of progress in Europe’s debt crisis and an unexpected drop in unemployment claims.

A day after the stock market took its worst fall since the summer, the Dow Jones industrial average on Thursday rallied 112.92 points, or 0.96 percent, to close at 11,893.86, led by Cisco and Merck . The S&P 500 added 10.60 points, or 0.86 percent, to finish at 1,239.70. All S&P sectors finishing in positive territory, but energy and health care led the way.

The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, tumbled almost 10 percent to finish below 33.

Instant Insights from the ‘Fast Money’ Traders

The S&P seems stuck in a range between the 1,225 and 1,275 levels, trader Tim Seymour said. Guy Adami of Drakon Capital agreed, adding that Friday will be a “big day” technically. He thinks Friday’s technical indicators will provide direction for the next couple weeks depending on which way the markets go.

Going forward, Seymour recommends watching the U.S. dollar.

To trader Joe Terranova, the market is lacking any catalysts. Some positive economic data from China should have pushed the market higher, but it didn’t. With the market in a “no where’s land,” he thinks you can start looking at individual stock stories. Given oil prices continue to climb, he recommends Hess .

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