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Stocks Turn Positive for 2015 After Europe’s Stimulus Plan

U.S. stocks climbed on Thursday, extending gains into a fourth session, after the European Central Bank unfurled expanded stimulus and companies including Southwest Airlines posted upbeat quarterly earnings.

ECB President Mario Draghi said the central bank would make monthly bond purchases of as much as $70 billion starting in March, and running through September of next year.

"There was always concern the ECB would disappoint, so we're pleased with size of the proposed actions, and the structure of it. There are moving parts, but overall it's good news," John De Clue, chief investment officer at the private client reserve at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

After falling 71 points earlier, the Dow Jones Industrial Average unofficially closed up about 255 points, or 1.5 percent. The S&P 500 gained 31 points, or 1.5 percent. The Nasdaq rose about 83 points, or 1.8 percent. All three indices have wiped out their losses since the year began.

ECB goes big on QE 1:41

IN-DEPTH

-- Kate Gibson