NEW YORK — U.S. stocks were broadly higher Thursday, recouping some of the ground the markets lost a day earlier, when stocks had their biggest drop in eight months.

Phone companies led the rally. Banks also notched gains, even though bond yields were little changed. Investors welcomed strong earnings from Wal-Mart Stores and other retailers.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 8 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,365. The Dow Jones industrial average added 56 points, or 0.3 percent, to 20,663. The Nasdaq composite index gained 44 points, or 0.7 percent, to 6,055.

THE QUOTE: “People may be wanting to put money to work in stocks, but the bonds they bought yesterday, they’re still going to keep those as a little bit of a hedge, just in case,” said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade.

EYES ON WASHINGTON: The stock market was rebounding from its worst day since September. The slide, which extended to many major indexes overnight in Asia and Europe, was triggered by growing worries that deepening political tumult in Washington will hinder President Donald Trump’s plans to enact tax cuts, infrastructure spending and other business-friendly policies.

BIG BEAT: Wal-Mart Stores rose 3.1 percent after the world’s largest retailer’s latest quarterly results beat Wall Street’s forecasts. The company also noted that its customer traffic rose in the quarter, unlike other major retailers like Macy’s and Target. Wal-Mart’s shares added $2.34 to $77.46.