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The Dow rallied more than 100 points to close above the 16000 mark for the first in history amid optimism the Fed will keep its foot firmly on the economic accelerator.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) rose 109 points, or 0.69%, to 16010, the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:GSPC) advanced 14.5 points, or 0.81%, to 1796 and the Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQ:IXIC) gained 47.9 points, or 1.2%, to 3969.
Wall Street has rallied in a big way this year. The Dow is up more than 22%, and has rallied 145% since its bear-market low in March 2009.
Traders had no lack of information to parse through on Thursday.
Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Janet Yellen won a vote in the Senate Banking Committee to become the next chair of the central bank. The move clears the way for a full vote in the Senate later this year. Yellen is seen as likely to continue curren Fed chief Ben Bernanke's highly-accommodative monetary policies that have helped lift stocks 25% higher this year.
The Labor Department reported wholesale prices fell 0.2% in October, matching economists’ expectations. Excluding the food and energy segments, prices rose 0.2%, slightly exceeding the 0.1% Wall Street expected. Prices have been broadly holding steady even as the Federal Reserve pushes hard on the economic accelerator, according to recent economic data.
The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits fell last week to 323,000 from an upwardly revised 344,000 the week prior, Labor said. Economists expected the number of claims to fall to 335,000 from an initially reported 339,000. Jobless claims have stabilized to some extend following the government shutdown in October.
The Philadelphia Federal Reserve said manufacturing in the mid-Atlantic region slowed to 6.5 in November, from 19.8 in October, while economists expected growth to grow at a much swifter pace of 15. Readings above zero point to expansion, while those below indicate contraction.
In corporate news, Target (NYSE:TGT) shares slumped after the retailer cut its full-year outlook amid a weaker-than-expected increase in comparable sales.
Elsewhere, U.S. crude oil futures rallied $1.59, or 1.7%, to $95.44 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline soared 3% to $2.744 a gallon. Gold dipped $14.40, or 1.1%, to $1,244 a troy ounce.
Major Averages: Performance from Bear Market Low