In early trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 62 points at 13,139. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up nine points at 1,417. And the Nasdaq composite index was up 17 at 2,998.
All major segments of the market were higher, led by health care and industrial stocks.
The Dow gained 127 points Oct. 16 but since then has managed only two daily gains, both of them meager. The average has lost 474 points since that last significant increase. Investors have focused on weaker corporate revenue and pessimistic projections.
Among companies reporting earnings Thursday, Procter & Gamble led the Dow Jones industrial average higher after the giant consumer products company reported earnings that beat analysts' expectations. P&G rose $2.13 to $70.21.
The homebuilder PulteGroup returned to profitability, posting its biggest third-quarter profit since 2006. That is more evidence of a turnaround in the beleaguered U.S. housing market. The stock climbed 23 cents to $17.68.
Profits at United Airlines declined with fewer people flying, and the company fell well short of Wall Street expectations. The stock fell 36 cents to $19.91.
Apple and Amazon.com report earnings after the market closes.
European and Asian markets were modestly higher. The price of crude oil rose 76 cents to $86.49 per barrel in New York, snapping back somewhat after a week of heavy selling.
As investors moved into stocks, they sold U.S. government bonds, sending yields higher. The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note yielded 1.85 percent, up from 1.79 percent late Wednesday.