NEW YORK - Investors sent the Dow Jones industrials back above 10,000 after a stream of upbeat economic news convinced them that maybe things aren't so bad after all.
The Dow rose 273 points to 10,172 Thursday. All the major indexes climbed more than 2.5 percent. Falling Treasury prices pushed interest rates higher as demand for safe investments eased.
Energy stocks led the market higher after they slid late Wednesday on concerns that BP P.L.C. would be forced to cut its dividend because of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Shares of BP rose 12.26 percent from a 14-year low, while shares of Anadarko Petroleum Corp., which has a minority stake in the rig that caused the spill, rose 12.40 percent.
Most bank stocks rose, but shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. fell 2.21 percent to its lowest level in a year after news reports that it was the target of another investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC has already filed civil-fraud charges against the company. The company has denied wrongdoing.
Markets around the world rose after China said exports rose 48.5 percent in May, while imports increased 48.3 percent. The increase in trade provides some relief for fears that debt problems in Europe would halt a global economic recovery. The 27-nation European Union is China's largest trading partner. China has said it wants to keep its economy from overheating. Traders had grown concerned that China would inadvertently slow growth too much and hurt a global rebound.
The Dow rose 273.28, or 2.76 percent, to 10,172.53. It was the Dow's first close above 10,000 this week and its biggest gain since May 27, when it climbed nearly 285 points after China said it did not plan to sell its European government bonds.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 31.15, or 2.95 percent, to 1,086.84, while the Nasdaq composite index rose 59.86, or 2.77 percent, to 2,218.71.
The euro, used by 16 countries in Europe, rose to $1.2111. The currency has become an indicator of investor confidence in Europe's ability to cut debt without spoiling a recovery.
Beyond the news from China, Japan reported that its economy grew faster than expected in the first three months of the year. In Australia, the government said full-time employment rose for a ninth consecutive month in May.
While investors worry about Europe's debt problems, there are also concerns about the job market in the United States. An unemployment rate of 9.7 percent remains one of the biggest obstacles to a strong domestic rebound.
The Labor Department said new claims for unemployment fell 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 456,000. While that figure fell short of economists' forecast, traders were heartened by numbers showing total claims last week dropped by the largest amount in almost a year. Total unemployment-benefit rolls fell 255,000, to 4.5 million.
The drop appears to be good news, but it could also indicate that people have run out of their state benefits and are moving to longer-term federal benefits. Still, the drop in total claims provides some hope that laid-off workers are starting to find jobs.
Crude oil rose $1.12 to close at $75.48 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the first close above $75 in about a month. Gold fell.
Among energy stocks, BP's shares rose $3.58, or 12.26 percent, to $32.78, while Anadarko shares rose $4.32, or 12.40 percent, to $39.15.
Goldman shares fell $3.03, or 2.21 percent, to $133.77. It traded as low as $131.30.