Updated from 2:09 p.m. EST
Tech shares and blue-chips spent the entire session in positive territory and closed higher Thursday as investors continued trying to end the year on a positive note.
European markets were higher, with London's FTSE 100 gaining 0.7% to 5213 and Germany's Xetra DAX up 2% at 5117. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei added 2.6% to 10,458, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.3% to 11,360.Oil shares rose after an OPEC official said he expects the oil exporting group to agree to production cuts when it meets Friday in Cairo. The comment sent crude oil futures up more than 6% in London to $20.55 a barrel. The bidding for HotJobs.com (HOTJ) appeared over after TMP Worldwide (TMPW) said it wouldn't raise its bid for the online recruitment site. That clears the way for Yahoo! (YHOO - Get Report) to follow through with its unsolicited $436 million cash and stock bid. HotJobs lost 30 cents to $10.37, while Yahoo gained 26 cents to $17.77. TMP gained $1.85 to $43.73. In foreign exchange trading, the yen dropped again, hitting its lowest level in more than three years against the dollar and also falling against the euro. The greenback was slightly weaker against the single European currency. A report on new claims for unemployment insurance that had been scheduled for Thursday was pushed back to tomorrow. Treasuries were stronger. Around 4 p.m. EST, the 10-year was climbing 26/32 to 99 11/32, yielding 5.09%.