Stock indexes are closing with broad gains as international leaders scramble to save a week-old plan to prevent a financial crisis in Europe. Strong corporate earnings and a bump up in hiring by private companies also helped send markets higher after a steep two-day drop.

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that the economy would likely expand over the next two years. But Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke cautioned the pace would likely be "frustratingly slow."

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 178 points, or 1.5 percent, to 11,836. The S&P 500 rose 20, or 1.6 percent, to 1,238. The Nasdaq composite added 33, or 1.3 percent, to 2,640.

Five stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was slightly below average at 4 billion shares.