NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks marched higher by mid-morning Thursday as the U.S. dollar weakened from its highs and Treasury yields stabilized.
The S&P 500 was up 0.71%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.88%, and the Nasdaq climbed 0.84%.
The U.S. dollar fell 0.4% against the euro, 0.2% against the British pound, and 0.32% against the Swiss franc. The greenback hit 11-year highs earlier this year which proved troublesome for many multinationals' top-lines during the first quarter.
U.S. Treasury yields stabilized on Thursday, falling back from five-month highs seen earlier this week. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.24%.
"We have dollar weakness today. That continues to hold the key," Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital, told CNBC. "There is complacency in the bond market and that's helping to ease that fear of yields climbing."
Cisco (CSCO) shares gained after a quarterly earnings beat. The tech giant reported earnings of 54 cents a share, just edging out estimates of 53 cents. Revenue rose 5.1% to $12.1 billion, slightly better than estimates of $12.07 billion. Click here for more.
Materials and energy stocks gained as crude oil stabilized above $60 a barrel. BHP Billiton (BHP), Rio Tinto (RIO), and Vale SA (VALE) were each higher. The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) added 0.76% and the Materials Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLB) gained 0.83%.
Weekly jobless claims remained at a 15-year low, indicative of a tightening labor market. The number of people applying for unemployment benefits in the week ended May 9 fell 1,000 to 264,000. Economists had expected claims to rise to 275,000.
The four-week moving average fell to 272,000, its lowest level since April 2000, said Cheng Chen, TD Securities' U.S. strategist.
"It suggests that claims remain on a broadly improving trajectory, and we expect the positive tone for labor market momentum over the coming months to be sustained," he said.
U.S. producer prices fell for the seventh time in nine months in April, down 0.4%, as lower gas and food costs continued to cause headwinds for the economy. Economists had expected no change after a 0.2% increase in March.
Shake Shack (SHAK) surged nearly 7% after reporting its first quarterly results since going public. The burger chain earned 4 cents a share, better than an estimated loss of 3 cents, while revenue jumped 56.3% from a year earlier.
Kohl's (KSS) fell more than 10% after sales missed estimates. The retail chain reported revenue of $4.12 billion, up 1.2% from a year earlier, though revenue fell short of estimates by $70 million. Comparable-store sales rose 1.4% in its fiscal first quarter.
Tesla (TSLA) shares were on watch on news the company could introduce an autonomous car-passing feature on newer Model S vehicles. The rollout of the software is uncertain.
Wal-Mart (WMT) shares were on watch after Alibaba (BABA) and the world's largest retailer sealed a partnership in which the Alipay mobile payment system will be used in stores in China. The two also partnered on the launch of the Tango Shop app earlier this week, an integration with the existing messenger app.