NEW YORK - U.S. stocks are closing higher, recording one of their best days in an otherwise dreary month.
Investors focused on hopes that China is poised to rev up its economic growth machine and that upcoming elections in Greece will help the country stay in the euro.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 126 points at 12,581, only the fifth gain this month. The Dow is still down 4.8 percent for May. The worsening of Spain's finances and an increasing likelihood that Greece will drop out of the euro currency union have been the main culprits behind the decline.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 15 points to 1,332 and the Nasdaq rose 33 points to 2,871.
Rising stocks outnumbered falling ones four-to-one. Volume was light at 3.3 billion shares.