Joy, who helps oversee $571 billion in assets under management, added that the Fed was being "overly bearish."
At the closing bell, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 219.10 points, or 1.69 percent, to 13,178.81. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 24.92 points, or 1.82 percent, to 1,396.01. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 53.12 points, or 1.78 percent, to 3,036.78.
Underscoring the upbeat sentiment, the CBOE Volatility Index or VIX, hovered near levels not seen since mid-2007. Its 14-day moving average is at its lowest since last June.
Euro-zone finance ministers gave final approval to a second bailout for Greece, and a German index of analysts' and investors' sentiment rose much more than expected in March.
The European Union, the United States and Japan formally asked the World Trade Organization to settle a dispute with China over restrictions on exports of raw materials, including rare earth elements critical to electronics makers.
Beijing said the export curbs were motivated by environmental concerns, adding that it would defend itself.
Shares of Molycorp , a rare earth oxide producer that owns a rare earth project outside of China, shot up 3.8 percent to $31.02. The company's stock has seen daily moves of at least 4 percent more than a dozen times this year.
Despite the upbeat retail data, shares of Urban Outfitters Inc dropped 5.9 percent to $27.76 a day after it said it expects margins to continue to be pressured.
Intellpuke: This article is a compilation of reporting by msnbc.com correspondents and filed from New York City, N.Y., with reporting by various news agencies. You can read it in context here: bottomline.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/13/10671946-stocks-soar-as-fed-sees-signs-of-strength