NEW YORK, New York - Strong economic data including a decline in initial jobless claims to 385,000 boosted stocks on Wall Street Thursday.
"The directional change has continued to be improving in the last few weeks and now it's a new low since beginning the pandemic," Keith Buchanan, portfolio manager at Globalt Investments in Atlanta, Georgia told Reuters Thomson Thursday.
"I think that's what is kind of leading to some optimism today and earnings to this point have been positive."
Energy and travel-related stocks in particular drove the momentum.
"It's nice to have a day where we're seeing a rebound in reopen and travel. They've just gotten nailed every which way from Sunday," Stephanie Link, chief investment strategist at Hightower Advisors told CNBC Thursday.
The Nasdaq reached a new record high, closing 114.58 points or 0.78 percent higher at 14,895.12.
The Standard and Poor's 500 also closed at an all-time high, gaining 26.44 points or 0.60 percent to 4,429.10.
The Dow Jones industrials advanced 271.58 points or 0.78 percent to 35,064.25.
The U.S. dollar was mixed. The euro declined to 1.1833. The British pound was little changed at 1.3929. The Japanese yen fell to 109.77. The Swiss franc was a fraction weaker at 0.9066.
The Canadian dollar edged up to 1.2499. The Australian and New Zealand dollars were steady at 0.7401 and 0.7057 res;respectively.
Shares in Europe rose. The CAC 40 in Paris, Franc added 0.52 percent. The Dax in Germany rose 0.33 percent.
It was a different story in the UK where London's FTSE 100 dipped 0.05 percent.
On Asian markets, the Australian All Ordinaries finished just 0.90 of a single point or 0.01 percent in front, at 7,779.60.
The Nikkei 225 in Japan firmed 144.04 points or 0.52 percent to 27,728.12.
The Shanghai Composite in China fell 10.67 points or 0.31 percent to 3,466.55.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 201.08 points or 0.76 percent to 26,225.47.