Stocks rose early Thursday, the day after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen reiterated that interest rates would be increased gradually, perhaps later in the year, while data showed signs that inflation remains subdued.
In the first hour of trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average climbed nearly 160 points, about 1 percent, to 18,093.6. The Standard ... Poor's 500 gained 15.6 points, about 1 percent, to 2,116. The Nasdaq composite added 52.5 points, about 1 percent, to 5,117.4.
BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. jumped 10 percent after the company said its experimental drug for dwarfism helped children in a mid-stage trial, and the Nasdaq biotechnology index hit a record.
Harley-Davidson Inc. gained 3.9 percent amid positive analyst comments and an upgrade.
Oracle Corp. fell 8 percent as quarterly revenue and profit missed analysts' forecasts.
In early trading, the price of benchmark U.S. crude was up 12 cents, about 0.2 percent, at $60.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Reports from Bloomberg News and The Associated Press were used in this story.