SOLID GAINS: Stocks closed higher on Thursday, the second up day after a big drop on Tuesday. The Dow closed up 70 points at 12,907. Nearly three-quarters of Tuesday's 203-point loss has been erased. The S&P 500 ended up 13 at 1,365, marking its best two days since late December.
GREEK DEBT DEAL: The major driver for the day was optimism over a deal for private investors to swap out old Greek government bonds for new ones worth less. Participation in the swap is a key part of the second international bailout for Greece in as many years. The expected success of the deal will enable the country to avoid default in two weeks.
JOBS REPORT: Traders also pushed stocks higher ahead of what is expected to be a strong February jobs report, due out from the U.S. government before the market opens Friday.