Updated from 4:08 p.m. EDT

Tech stocks led the broader markets higher in a dramatic reversal leading up to an earnings release from Microsoft ( MSFT) Thursday, with the Nasdaq Composite bouncing from a new 2004 low set Wednesday.

The Nasdaq closed up 14.69 points, or 0.78%, to 1889.06, after dropping to a new intraday low for the year at 1854 shortly after the open. The tech-laden index reached a new low for the year at 1874 amid Wednesday's carnage.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 4.20 points, or 0.04%, to 10,050.33 after falling below its 10,000 mark earlier and being negative most of the session by as much as 1%.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 swung to a gain of 2.96 points, or 0.27%, to 1096.84 after sinking just 2 points off its 2004 low in the morning.

In other markets, the 10-year Treasury note traded up 3/32 in price to yield 4.45%, while the dollar was lower against the yen and higher against the euro. In New York, oil prices rose for the second day in a row, with the benchmark U.S. crude closing up 78 cents, or 1.9%, at $41.36, a little less than a dollar shy of the $42.33 peak.

"The market had a pretty good performance today after what we went through yesterday," said Vincent Ambrose, a trader with Fox Investments. "We had a liquidation yesterday, almost a bit of a panic going into this morning, and I think we just got down to a technical level where we were oversold and just able to reverse it.

Ambrose said the big worry is that earnings and the economy are slowing down after the market saw some soft numbers from June. "We don't know whether things have picked up or not," he said. "It's inconclusive, and that's why I don't think anyone really knows where we go from here. I don't care what Greenspan says, it's all about the numbers that come out in the next few weeks."

Hugh Johnson, chief investment officer at First Albany, said he thinks the bull market has further to go, but at the moment, the markets are being held hostage by a laundry list of worries that is overwhelming investors.

"The old adage on Wall Street says that stocks climb a wall of worries, and that's usually true," Johnson said. "But I've been at this a long time, and I can't remember a time when the list of worries was this long and getting longer."

Johnson went on to rattle off the various concerns that have garnered headlines in the financial press recently, from rising interest rates, war in Iraq, economic turmoil in China, a slowdown in earnings growth and soaring oil prices to the increasingly uncertain outcome of the election. "My prediction is that, over time, these worries will either be resolved or we will learn to live with them and stocks will eventually start to make progress again," he added.