U.S. markets held on. After three days of losses, the Dow Jones industrial average added 180.85 points or 1.21 percent to 15,176,08. The Standard & Poor's 500 added 23.84 points or 0.48 percent to end the day at 1,636.36.
The Nasdaq composite gained 44.93 points or 1.32 percent to 3,445.37.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 2,646 issues advanced and 470 declined on volume of 3.4 billion shares.
U.S. investors looked past a World Bank report released Thursday that said the global economy would rise 2.2 percent in 2013 and 3.3 percent in 2014 and 2015, a slower recovery than the bank had previously predicted.
But the World Bank said Japan's economy would grow 1.4 percent in 2013, almost twice its previous prediction, raising its estimate in part due to Japan's 4.1 percent increase in the gross domestic product in the first three months of the year, The Wall Street Journal said.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index, however, reached a bear market status Thursday as the index dropped to a point more than 20 percent below a recent peak.
It has been a volatile year with the bear market establishing itself quickly after a six-month rally.
On Thursday, the 10-year treasury note rose 22/32 to yield 2.154 percent.
Crude oil prices closed at $96.70 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, gaining 82 cents. Gold shed $7.40 to reach $1,384.50 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
On currency markets, the euro rose to $1.3372 from Wednesday's closing mark of $1.3337. Against the yen, the dollar was lower at 95.34 yen from 96.01 yen.
On the Chicago Board of Trade, corn for July delivery lost 5 1/2 cents to hit $6.45 1/4 per bushel, while soybeans shed 30 3/4 cents to close at $15.10 and wheat added 2 cents to finish at $6.85.