NEW YORK — Encouraging economic news and a rare rise in oil prices helped give the stock market its first gain in the new year Wednesday.

Major indexes started climbing from the opening bell, following a report from ADP, the payroll processor, which showed that businesses hired more workers last month. Companies added 241,000 workers in December, an increase from November.

The increase offered more evidence that the U.S. economy is on steady ground and gave investors another reason to jump back into the market after five straight days of losses, said Jeff Kravetz, regional investment director at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

All three major U.S. indexes climbed more than 1 percent. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 23.29 points to close at 2,025.90.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 212.88 points to 17,584.52, and the Nasdaq composite gained 57.73 points to 4,650.47.

Before Wednesday, falling oil prices and concerns about the global economy had knocked the S&P 500 down 2.7 percent, its worst start to a year since 2008.

The recent turbulence is likely just a pause in the stock market’s steady run, said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors.

“It’s perfectly normal market activity,” Arone said. “Things tend not to go up or down in a straight line.”

Major markets in Europe also ended higher for the first time this week. Germany’s DAX closed with a gain of 0.5 percent and France’s CAC-40 rose 0.7 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 advanced 0.8 percent.

Consumer prices in Europe fell in December for the first time since 2009. The 0.2 percent drop was mainly the result of falling oil prices, something that could help consumers immediately. But falling prices also increase pressure on the European Central Bank to provide more stimulus for the region’s flagging economy. Many analysts expect the bank to announce plans to buy government bonds later this month. After the report on prices came out, the euro slipped to $1.1833 from $1.1890.

U.S. crude oil rose 72 cents to close at $48.65 a barrel.