Stocks traded higher on Thursday as a comeback in regional bank shares on news of potential support calmed some fears over the sector's ongoing crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose over 370 points Thursday after falling more than 300 point earlier in the session. The S&P 500 Index and Nasdaq Composite also added 1.76% and 2.5%, respectively.

Here's how the market settled on Thursday:

S&P 500 Index (SPY  ): +1.76% or +68.41 points to 3,960.34

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA  ): +1.17% or +373.04 points to 32,247.61

Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ  ): +2.48% or +283.23 points to 11,717.28

Market participants continued on focus on the turmoil in the financial sector, with Credit Suisse (CS  ) shares popping more than 30% at open on Thursday after the lender said it will borrow up to 50 billion Swiss francs ($54 billion) from the Swiss National Bank (SNB). The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority and SNB said in a joint statement that Credit Suisse "meets the capital and liquidity requirements imposed on systemically important banks."

Elsewhere in the sector, the Wall Street Journal reported that JPMorgan Chase (JPM  ), Bank of America (BAC  ), Wells Fargo (WFC  ), Goldman Sachs (GS  ) and Morgan Stanley (MS  ), as well as U.S. Bancorp (USB  ) and PNC Financial (PNC  ) were in talks for a possible capital infusion in battered First Republic Bank (FRC  ). The regional bank's stock traded off its lows for the day on the news, but its stock is still down more than 20%.

In global economic news, the European Central Bank (ECB) delivered a surprise 0.50% interest rate hike, as central bankers said inflation remains "too high". Economists had expected a 0.25% hike due to ongoing uncertainties in the financial sector.

"Inflation is projected to remain too high for too long," the ECB said in a statement. "Therefore, the Governing Council today decided to increase the three key ECB interest rates by 50 basis points, in line with its determination to ensure the timely return of inflation to the 2% medium-term target."

"The euro area banking sector is resilient, with strong capital and liquidity positions," the central bank added.

The ECB's decision comes just a few days before the U.S. Federal Reserve will deliver its next policy decision, with the central bank expected to issue a second consecutive 0.25% hike at the conclusion of its meeting on Wednesday.

In U.S. economic news, initial jobless claims declined to 192,000 for the week ended March 11, according to the Labor Department, down from the previous week's print of 212,000. The decrease in unemployment filings demonstrates continued strength in the U.S. labor market in spite of the Fed's aggressive rate hiking campaign.

Meanwhile, housing starts and new building permits rose in February, according to the Commerce Department's report on Thursday. Total U.S. starts soared to 1.45 million last month, marking a 9.8% monthly increase and above estimates for 1.31 million. Permits jumped to 1.524 million in February, a 13.8% increase over January and above estimates for a 1.34 million total.

Looking ahead, market participants will continue to monitor news on the financial sector as they look for clues on the Fed's next policy decision.