Despite equity gains, the second consecutive day of gains, the yield on the 10-year Treasury dipped to 2 percent, a signal that many investors prefer the relative safety of government bonds, despite stock market gains.
Remarks on Wednesday by Fed Chair Jerome Powell signaled a willingness of the U.S. central bank to cut rates, perhaps as soon as next month. Such a move would mean the Fed is joining a number of central banks in a new round of monetary stimulus.
The S&P 500 ended at 2,954.19, above the previous record of 2,945.83 on April 30, 2019.
The day's gains were trimmed when President Trump responded to Iran's downing of a U.S. drone with comments that could be interpreted to mean there would be an American military response.
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|I:COMP||NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX||15090.200353||-125.50||-0.82%|
Top Chinese and U.S. officials will resume trade talks in accordance with the wishes of their leaders, but China hopes the United States will create the necessary conditions for dialog, the Chinese Commerce Ministry said on Thursday.
Crude oil prices soared more than 5 percent to a three-week high in their biggest increase this year. Crude benefited from tensions in the Middle East after Iran shot down a U.S. drone over the Gulf of Hormuz. A weak dollar in response to interest rate-cut expectations also gave oil prices an additional boost.
Shares of the popular work-messaging system Slack made their trading debut Thursday morning, after a share sale that valued the company at $15.7 billion. The stock was up more than 5 percent in late-day trading.
Shares of Apple rose after Evercore ISI raised its price target on the iPhone maker.
Boeing gained after the planemaker said it is in talks with other airlines for sales of its 737 Max after receiving a letter of intent for 200 of the grounded planes from British Airways owner IAG.
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Oracle jumped after the business software maker forecast current-quarter profit above estimates as it benefited from demand for its on-premise IT, cloud services and license support businesses.
Cruise operator Carnival Corp slid after cutting its profit forecast for the year on the Trump administration's sudden ban on cruises to Cuba and expected lower ticket prices in the coming months.
In economic news, initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 216,000 for the week ended June 15, the Labor Department said. Economists had expected a decline to 220,000.
Also, the Philadelphia Fed showed its business conditions index dropped to a reading of 0.3 in June from 16.6 in May. The areas affected were measures of new orders, employment and shipments.
In Asian markets on Thursday, China's Shanghai Composite Index gained 2.4 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1.2 percent and Japan's Nikkei jumped 0.6 percent.
Europe markets finished the day higher. London's FTSE added 0.3 percent, Germany's DAX was up 0.4 percent and France's CAC was higher by 0.3 percent.