The benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 index closed above 1,700 points for the first time.
Better manufacturing news in China and the U.S. as well as encouraging reports on jobs and company earnings sent the market up Thursday.
The S&P 500 rose 21 points, or 1.3 percent, to 1,706.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 128 points, or 0.8 percent, to 15,628.
The Nasdaq composite rose 49 points, or 1.4 percent, to 3,675.
Small-company stocks and transportation stocks also rose sharply. Investors sold ultra-safe U.S. government debt.
Three stocks rose for every two that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was higher than average at 3.8 billion shares.