(CNBC) U.S. stocks closed higher on Thursday after trading in a narrow range as investors digested earnings reports, a rebound in oil prices and looked for more signals on the timing of an interest rate hike.
Energy advanced 1.5 percent to lead the S&P 500 as WTI settled up 37 cents, or 0.73 percent, at $50.79 a barrel, recovering from a 6.6 percent slide on Wednesday. Both Chevron and Exxon Mobil were among the blue chip gainers.
"Oil prices led to the rally (in stocks)," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital.
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