Stocks surged nearly 2 percent across the board on Thursday, with the S&P 500 closing at its highest since 2008, fueled by the ECB's announcement it will purchases bonds of struggling euro zone countries to bring down their borrowing costs.
Also, China gave the green light for 60 infrastructure projectsworth more than $150 billion, or nearly 2 percent of the nation's economy, to boost growth.
Material stocks such as ArcelorMittal, Rio Tinto and Cliffs Natural Resources all surged.
Kraft Foods dropped to lead the Dow laggards after the food and beverage conglomerate said it expects long-term earnings growth in the mid-to-high single digits when it spins off its snacks business in October.
Among techs, Google gained to top $700 a share, hitting a four-year high.
Intel slumped after the chipmaker cut its third-quarter revenueforecast, citing softer demand due to the weak macroeconomic environment. At least seven brokerages lowered their price targets on the firm. Other semiconductor companies were also in the red, including Micron, AMD and Texas Instruments.
Apple has lowered its orders for memory chips for its new iPhone from its main supplier Samsung, as the tech giant seeks to diversify its supply lines, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter. Separately, the iPhone maker hit an all-time high earlier in the session at $682.48 a share. Shares have shot up nearly 70 percent year to date.
Meanwhile, Pandora plunged after reports that Apple is in talks to license music for its own online radio service.
Amazon.com climbed to all-time highs a day after the online retailer launched a new Kindle Fire tablet and refreshed its line of stand-alone e-readers. At least two brokerages raised their price targets on the firm. (Read More: Why Kindle Fire HD Won’t Hurt Apple Much...Yet)
Lululemon jumped after the yoga-apparel retailer posted higher earnings and lifted its full-year profit and revenue outlook.
—By CNBC’s JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC)
On Tap Next Week:
MONDAY: Consumer credit, Annie's shareholder mtg
TUESDAY: NFIB small business optimism index, McDonald's August sales, international trade, 3-yr note auction, Intel developers forum
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage apps, import & export prices, wholesale trade, oil inventories, 10-yr note auction, crop outlook report, Apple iPhone 5 event, FOMC meeting begins
THURSDAY: Jobless claims, PPI, 30-yr bond auction, FOMC mtg announcement, FOMC forecasts, Bernanke press conference; Earnings from Pier 1 Imports
FRIDAY: CPI, retail sales, industrial production, consumer sentiment, business inventories, FDA decision on Truvia
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