The Dow Jones industrial average rose 48 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 14,946 as of noon Thursday.
The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed 11 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 1,653. The Nasdaq composite gained 33 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 3,633.
China's manufacturing stabilized in August, and in Europe, a report showed that the manufacturing and service sectors are improving.
Stocks of U.S. retail chains are falling after more weak sales reports.
Abercrombie & Fitch plunged $8.50, or 18 per cent, to $38.30.
Hewlett-Packard fell $3.20, or 13 per cent, to $22.18 after the company reported poor demand for personal computers.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.91 per cent.