Wall Street stocks Thursday finished higher following mixed US economic data as a closely watched index of small-cap equities outperformed the broader market.
At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 10.91 points (0.07 percent) at 16,543.97.
The broad-based S&P 500 rose 4.50 (0.24 percent) to 1,892.53, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 22.80 (0.55 percent) to 4,154.34.
Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG, said investors were cheered by a one percent rise in the Russell 2000 small-cap index. Weakness in the Russell 2000 has contributed to the broader market's malaise over the last month or so.
"It does feel like at least over the small-cap space, that perhaps the worst is behind us and that's affecting things more generally," Greenhaus said.
Greenhaus said trading volumes were low as some people on Wall Street had taken early vacation ahead of the Memorial Day holiday on Monday.
The US Labor Department reported that initial jobless claims, a measure of the pace of layoffs, totaled 326,000 in the week ending May 17, a gain of 28,000 from the prior week.
US existing homes sold at an annual rate of 4.65 million in April, up 1.3 percent from March, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said. April marked the first month sales rose in 2014.