U.S. markets were jumped with less than an hour of trading left, pushing the Dow Jones industrial average to a 1.44 percent gain on the day.
Stocks started lower then turned mixed after Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Ben Bernanke testified that policy makers had more stimulus options left.
Bernanke also painted a dour picture saying the U.S. economic recovery is close to "faltering."
By close of trading on Wall Street, the DJIA added 153.41 points to 10,808.71. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 24.72 points, 2.25 percent, to 1,123.95. The Nasdaq composite index of tech-dominated stocks added 68.99 points, or 2.95 percent, to 2,404.82.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 1,872 stocks advanced and 1,232 declined on a volume of 6.7 billion shares traded.
The benchmark 10-year treasury note fell 21/32 to yield 1.831 percent.
The euro rose to $1.3309 from Monday's $1.3176. Against the yen, the dollar rose to 76.90 yen from Monday's 76.64 yen.
In Asia, stocks fell 0.26 percent in China and 3.4 percent in Hong Kong. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index lost 1.05 percent, 89.36, to 8,456.12.
In Europe, the Belgium Bel-20 took a dive, falling 2.765 percent. The DAX 30 in Germany lost 2.98 percent.
In London, the FTSE 100 index dropped 2.58 percent, 131.06, to 4,944.44.
No major markets indexes showed gains in Europe. In Asia, only Taiwan's TAIEX showed gains, modestly up 0.48 percent.