U.S. stocks increased Thursday as the energy sector reversed course from Wednesday and ended as the top-performing sector.

In corporate news, Target announced it will increase its quarterly dividend from 64 cents to 66 cents per share, making this the 48th consecutive year that Target has increased its dividend.

Economic news was light.

Treasury bond prices rose as interest rates declined.

Volume on the New York Stock Exchange was moderate, with 743 million shares traded. Advancers outnumbered decliners by a wide margin.

Gold rose $1.98 to $1,341.50, silver rose 9 cents to $14.93, and crude oil rose 99 cents to $52.13 a barrel.

The 30-year Treasury yield closed lower at 2.6 percent, and the 10-year Treasury yield finished lower at 2.1 percent.

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