Wall Street Hits New Highs for Second-Straight Day

MarketsDow Jones Newswires

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed to record levels for the second straight day Thursday, after European Central Bank president Mario Draghi hinted at monetary stimulus of as much as EUR1 trillion.

Better-than-expected jobless claims data as well as productivity report also may have served to drive the markets higher.

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ECB President Mario Draghi reiterated that ECB policy makers are unanimously committed to using unconventional measures if needed to maintain price stability. In other words, the ECB could use outright QE, if deemed necessary. Read: Don't mess with Mario Draghi

The S&P 500 (SPX) added 7.64 points, or 0.4%, to 2,031.21, with energy and industrial sectors leading the gains.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) gained 69.94 points, or 0.4%, to 17,544.47, while the Dow Transports recorded its highest level, adding 113 points, or 1.3%, to 8,952.91.

The Nasdaq Composite (RIXF) closed 17.75 points, or 0.4%, higher at 4,638.47.

Need to Know: Gold doesn't stand a chance, but utilities do

In economic news, the number of Americans applying for new jobless benefits lingered below 300,000 for the eighth straight week amid the lowest level of layoffs in years. U.S. productivity in the third quarter grew at a 2% annual pace, preliminary data show, marking the fourth sizable increase in the past five quarters.

Tesla, Whole Foods among stocks to watch: Tesla (TSLA) shares rose 4.4% after the electric-car maker's results topped expectations, though it lowered its delivery forecast for 2014.

Whole Foods(WFM) climbed 12% after the upscale grocer reported a rise in third-quarter earnings and lifted its quarterly dividend.

Hospira Inc.'s (HSP) shares surged 6.7% after the pharmaceutical company reported profit of 158.6 billion, beating analysts' estimates.

Genworth Financial, Inc. (GNW) sank 38% trading after the former spinoff from General Electric Co. registered a record net loss on higher expenses.

(Read more about the day's notable stocks in Movers & Shakers column: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/walt-disney-zynga-tesla-in-focus-2014-11-06.)

Other markets:Europe stocks remained rebounded and finished higher after the ECB president Mario Draghi's said the bank is prepared to inject liquidity into eurozone economy.

While the comments boosted equities, the euro fell to a two-year low.

The Nikkei 225 fell 0.9%, pulling back after gaining more than 10% in the previous five sessions. The losses came despite a seven-year high for the U.S. dollar (USDJPY) against the yen, which tapped Yen115 before pulling back.

Oil(CLZ4) prices fell, while gold(GCZ4) settled lower.