US stocks rebounded in rocky trade Thursday amid signs that Italy and Greece were moving to form new governments that would address their deep debt problems.
After falling on Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 113.07 points (0.96 percent) to 11,894.01 in closing trade.
The broad-based S&P 500 added 10.59 (0.86 percent) to 1,239.69, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite edged up 3.50 points (0.13 percent) to 2,625.15.
Earlier Europe's main markets were mixed as traders watched for more political progress in Athens and Rome.
"Stocks are higher today after Greece tapped former central banker Lucas Papademos as interim prime minister and (amid) reports of the European Central Bank buying Italian and Spanish debt," said Scott Marcouiller of Wells Fargo Advisors.
Also encouraging markets was the push for former EU commissioner Mario Monti to replace outgoing Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Both Monti and Papademos are US-trained economists and are expected to embrace the reforms seen as necessary to place Greek and Italian finances on an even keel -- if their respective new coalition governments allow it.
But the results of a new Italian bond auction, while successful, nevertheless underscored the continued nervousness over Italian and eurozone stability. Buyers pushed yields, the cost Italy has to pay to borrow, to a new euro-era record for the country of 6.087 percent.
"Nothing changed in Europe for the last nine months, the black cloud from Europe continues to hang over the markets," said Wedbush Securities analyst Michael James.
"A month ago it was Greece, now Italy has moved to the forefront, as the main country of concern," he said.
Positive US weekly jobs numbers encouraged traders: new claims for unemployment benefits fell to a seven-month low of 390,000 in the week ending November 5, down 10,000 from the week before and a better figure than economists had predicted.
Markets overall were held back by selling on the Nasdaq, where Apple fell 2.6 percent and Google lost 1.0 percent.
Bucking the trend was networking specialists Cisco, up 5.7 percent helped by several analyst upgrades on an improved growth outlook.
Merck gained 3.5 percent after announcing it would raise its dividend by 10.5 percent, the first increase in seven years.
US bond prices fell as market interest turned back to stocks and the euro.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.01 percent from 1.96 percent on Wednesday, while the 30-year Treasury moved to 3.11 percent from 3.02 percent.
Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.