The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose nine points, or 0.5 per cent, to close at a record 2,011 on Thursday. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 109 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 17,265 also a record. The Nasdaq composite jumped 31 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 4,593.
Fewer Americans filed first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week, according to the Labor Department. Weekly applications fell 36,000 to 280,000, well below economists' forecasts.
Also, the Federal Reserve on Wednesday made clear it would keep interest rates at record lows for a while. Low rates have boosted the market by helping revive the economy and making stocks more attractive compared with bonds.