U.S. stocks finished higher Thursday, pushing the Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor's 500 index to new record highs.
In world markets, European stocks finished higher, supported by Wall Street's gains. Asian markets also ended higher, led by the Nikkei in Japan rising 2 percent.
In U.S. economic news, the Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell 42,000 last week to 346,000, falling more than expected.
In company news, despite Honda, Toyota, and Nissan recalls of 1.7 million U.S. vehicles because of airbag defects, the automakers posted overall gains on the New York Stock Exchange.
The dollar rose against the yen but declined against the euro. Light sweet crude oil for May delivery fell to $93.47 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold futures rose to $1,560.40.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 62.9, or 0.4 percent, to 14,865.14. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 5.64, or 0.4 percent, to 1,593.37. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index rose 2.91, or 0.1 percent, to 3,300.16.