After a steady slide from the first of August, stocks rose on a day with no major economic reports to kill the mood.
Geopolitical tensions eased somewhat, as Syria signaled it would be willing go discuss a diplomatic approach to the crisis provoked by its alleged use of chemical weapons on its own citizens in late August.
With the possibility of a military intervention decreasing, the price of oil eased back to close to $109 per barrel. The price has a ways to go before falling to where it was before the Syrian crisis flared up, but lower energy prices are seen as bullish by much of Wall Street.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average added 140.62 points, or 0.94 percent, to 15,063.12. The Nasdaq gained 46.17 points, or 1.26 percent, to 3,706.18. The Standard & Poor's 500 added 16.54 points, or 1 percent, to 1,671.71.
On the New York Stock Exchange 2,466 issues advanced while 617 declined on total volume of 2.9 billion shares traded.
In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index gained 344.42 points, or 2.48 percent, to close at 14,205.23.
In Europe, the British FTSE 100 index dropped 16.59 points, or 0.25 percent, to close at 6,530.74.
On currency markets, the euro fell to $1.3259 and the dollar fell to 99.59 yen.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold gave up 40 cents to $1,386.10 per troy ounce and silver lost 20.1 cents to $23.69.
The 10-year U.S. treasury note rose 5/32 to yield 2.918 percent.
In after-hours trading, crude oil was down $1.56 cents to $108.97 per barrel on the NYMEX.
On the Chicago Board of Trade, corn for December delivery shed 4 3/4 cents to $4.63 1/2 per bushel. November soybeans shed 11 1/2 cents to $13.56 1/4 per bushel. Wheat for December lost 7 1/2 cents to $6.40 1/2 per bushel.