U.S. stocks closed higher on Thursday, with the Nasdaq having another record-setting session, as investors digested several economic data releases while processing the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy decision.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 156.18 points at session highs before closing about 100 points higher, with Boeing contributing the most gains.
"You had a little bit of a concession before this; ... now you're getting back to where we were," said Gene Tannuzzo, portfolio manager at Columbia Threadneedle Investments. "I think this a bit more of a technical rally, which should make you a little bit cautious."
"It's a hope that the economy is bad enough for the Fed to stay accommodative and good enough to stay in risky assets," he said.
The S&P 500 rose 0.6 percent, with real estate gaining nearly 2 percent. The Nasdaq composite hit a new all-time intraday high of 5,342.88, and posted a record close for the second straight session.
"In particular, it wasn't just that they didn't move rates; ... it's also the expectations of economic conditions over the next couple of years," said Kate Warne, investment strategist at Edward Jones. "The other thing having a bit of an effect are existing home sales and leading indicators. It keeps the Fed supportive for a longer period of time."
The S&P also turned positive for the month.
"Today's action is a relief rally following the Fed's decision," said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management. "We believe the Fed will follow the shallow trajectory towards normalization."
He added, however, that stronger earnings are needed to justify the high valuation in stocks. "At some point, Fed-driven liquidity will have reached its limits."
Existing home sales for August fell 0.9 percent, while economists expected an increase of 1.3 percent. Leading indicators for August, meanwhile, fell 0.2 percent. Before the bell, the Labor Department said weekly jobless claims fell to a two-month low.