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Gains for technology companies helped push the technology-heavy Nasdaq composite higher. The index advanced 43 points, or 1.3 percent, to 3,343.

Stock are rebounding after a slump Wednesday, when reports of slower manufacturing growth and hiring dragged down markets.

In government bond trading, the yield on the 10-year note rose to 1.64 percent after falling to a low for the year of 1.63 percent Wednesday. Stocks fell even after the Federal Reserve reaffirmed its plan to continue its aggressive stimulus program, which is now five years old.

The price of crude oil rose $2.20 to $93.31 a barrel, up 2.5 percent. The price of gold rose $21.40, or 1.5 percent, to $1.467.60 an ounce. The U.S. dollar gained against the euro after the European Central Bank cuts its benchmark interest rate a quarter of a percentage point to 0.5 percent. The euro fell a penny against the dollar to $1.3066.