U.S. stocks rose on Thursday, with Wall Street continuing its record-setting advance after data had fewer Americans than expected filing applications for jobless benefits last week, casting a positive light on the labor market.
"The fundamentals are perking up right when we need them to, as the Fed steps away," said Jim Russell, senior equity strategist for US Bank Wealth management, referring to the Federal Reserve's announcement that it would start reducing its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases by $10 billion.
Shares of Amazon.com, United Parcel Service and FedEx edged higher after the online retailer offered to refund shipping charges after the package-delivery companies said they did not deliver some packages by Christmas amid overwhelming volume.
"Getting overwhelmed with packages is maybe not so good for UPS and FedEx, but it is good for the economy," said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank.
T-Mobile US climbed after sources close to the matter told Reuters that Japan's SoftBank was in discussions to acquire the wireless carrier.
Tesla Motors rallied 3.1 percent after a China Daily report said the maker of electric cars would look to launch additional showrooms in China in 2014.