The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Thursday closed sharply higher, reversing a sharp drop that served as a gut-check to bullish investors amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Dow /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -1.86% ended up 377 points, or 1.6%, at 23,625, following a skid that saw it lose as many as 458 points at its intraday nadir at 22,789.62. Gains were driven by an advance in American Express Co. /zigman2/quotes/203805826/composite AXP -3.06% and UnitedHealth Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/210453738/composite UNH -3.28% , which helped to lead the charge. The reversal for the index marked its biggest comeback since March 19, according to Dow Jones Market Data. The S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -1.48% , meanwhile, rose 1.2% to end at 2,853, powered by a gain in the financials sector /zigman2/quotes/209660484/composite XLF -2.61% , up 2.6% and a rally in consumer discretionary shares /zigman2/quotes/200844504/composite XLY -1.34% . The technology laden Nasdaq Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP -0.80% finished up 0.9% , or 80.55 points, at around 8,944--well off its lows at 8,705.25.