NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks were rising slightly, with energy stocks leading market gains, as Friday's session gave little in the way of economic news to help feed a two-day rally. The Federal Reserve had infused markets with new vigor after promising on Wednesday a "patient" approach to raising interest rates.
The S&P 500 was up 0.26%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.07%, and the Nasdaq rose 0.24%.
On Thursday, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq soared more than 2% and the Dow rocketed 420 points higher, its largest advance since November 2011.
Oil prices rebounded on Friday with West Texas Intermediate crude up 2.8% to $55.64 a barrel. Prices have been more volatile than usual over the past 24 hours after Saudi Arabia's oil minister, Ali al-Naimi, said OPEC wouldn't be able to stabilize oil prices alone lest it lose market share.
Energy shares were the best performers of the market with the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) up 0.31%. Major oilers and oil services companies pulled the sector higher with Chevron (CVX) climbing 1.1%, Schlumberger (SLB) gaining 1.1%, and Kinder Morgan (KMI) jumping 1.8%.
With no economic data due out Friday, trading could be more volatile than usual given it is a quadruple-witching session, one of four days of the year in which futures and options contracts expire at once.
Asian markets were markedly higher after the Bank of Japan maintained its stimulus measures and provided a more positive view on the world's third-largest economy. Japan's Nikkei closed 2.4% higher.
China's Shanghai Composite rose nearly 2% after the country increased its estimated GDP last year by 3.4%. China's central bank maintains a forecast of economic growth this year at 7.4%.
Xerox (XRX) shares increased 2.8% after the company agreed to sell its IT outsourcing arm to French firm Atos for $1.05 billion.
Veterinary drug developer Aratana Therapeutics (PETX) announced that its canine osteoarthritis pain drug had performed better in drug trials than a placebo. Shares rocketed 25% higher.
In earnings Friday, BlackBerry (BBRY) was diving 3.9% after revenue dropped by a third in its fiscal third quarter. Adjusted earnings of a penny beat expectations for a loss of 5 cents a share.
Nike (NKE) , though it beat quarterly earnings forecasts, caused concern when it reported the slowest growth rate of future orders in four quarters. Shares were nearly 3.7% lower.
Red Hat (RHT) spiked more than 12% as third-quarter revenue jumped 15% and the company provided positive guidance for its fourth quarter.
--Written by Keris Alison Lahiff in New York.