Wall Street market report
|London | Wall Street | Asia|
(Close): The Dow Jones and S&P 500 hit fresh highs on further momentum from Wednesday's Federal Reserve interest rate update and enthusiasm ahead of Alibaba's flotation.
The Nasdaq rose 31 points, or 0.7%, to 4,593.
Apple rose 1% after the firm's iPhone 6 received regulatory approval in China for use on domestic frequencies.
But the device still requires one more critical licence before it may be sold in the country, official news agency Xinhua reported.
Wall Street was bolstered by signals from the Fed that it was likely to keep interest rates at near zero well into 2015.
But there was also anticipation ahead of Alibaba's mammoth initial public offering (IPO), with shares due to begin trading on Friday.
The Alibaba IPO "feels as though it's going to be a success," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.
Banking stocks were big gainers, with JPMorgan Chase up 1.7%, Bank of America up 1.6%, and Citigroup 2.4% ahead.
Drugstore chain Rite Aid plummeted 18.5% as it lowered its fiscal 2015 profit forecast due in part to reduced sales as new generic drugs replace medications with patent exclusivity.