Stocks broke higher after struggling for direction for much of the earlier session. Financials, including GoldmanSachs (GS) - Get Report and JPMorgan (JPM) - Get Report , led the way after a days-long retreat. Consumer confidence numbers gave markets a boost earlier after a surge in March. The index rose to its highest level since December 2000. That came as a surprise to analysts looking for a slight dip after the index reached a post-recession high last month. Ford (F) - Get Report rose after announcing plans to create or retain 130 jobs at its plant in Michigan. The job creation is one of the ways in which Ford will invest $1.2 billion at three of its plants in the state. Competitor General Motors (GM) - Get Report was also higher after investor David Einhorn pushed for the company to generate two classes of stock to divide dividends from earnings. Einhorn said the plan would unlock significant shareholder value.