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US stocks closed a choppy day of trading higher after Japan's monetary stimulus plan boosted sentiment.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 55.76 (0.38 percent) to 14,606.11.
The broad-based S&P 500 added 6.29 (0.40 percent) at 1,559.98, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 6.38 (0.20 percent) to 3,224.98.
Tokyo's Nikkei 225 gained 2.2 percent after the Bank of Japan unveiled aggressive stimulus measures.
The upbeat news helped offset a disappointing report on US jobless claims, which unexpectedly rose 28,000 to 385,000 for the week ending March 30.
David Levy of Kenjol Capital Management said the market had lacked direction in recent days, rising one day and falling the next.
"The market has been treading water for the last trading days, back and forth between the bulls and the bears," said Levy, adding that Friday's US jobs reports and upcoming corporate earnings could help the market settle on a direction.
Electronics retailer Best Buy soared 16.1 percent after Samsung Electronics announced an agreement to create a Samsung store-within-a-store in Best Buy stores.
Facebook added 3.1 percent after unveiling a venture to embed Facebook's program as a home page on the Google Android smartphones. Facebook's chief executive Mark Zuckerberg called the plan "something that's a lot deeper than an app."
Cruise company Carnival dropped 1.6 percent on news that its Carnival Triumph broke free from its mooring at an Alabama port. The ship is undergoing repairs after being stranded off the Mexican coast in February.
Software company Compuware Corp. sank 2.5 percent after announcing preliminary fourth-quarter results that came in well below expectations. The company acknowledged it was disappointed in the results, but pointed to significant cost-cutting.
Bond prices jumped. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.76 percent from 1.81 percent Wednesday, while the 30-year yield dropped to 2.99 percent from 3.06 percent. Bond prices move inversely to yields.