U.S. equities closed higher on Thursday, as financials led, as investors digested key economic data and kept an eye on oil rising prices.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose about 70 points, with Goldman Sachs and UnitedHealth contributing the most gains.
"We're in the last two days of the quarter and most of the end-of-quarter window dressing has probably taken place already," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial. "I think the market is going to stay range-bound until the new quarter starts."
The S&P 500 gained 0.3 percent, with financials rising more than 1 percent to lead advancers. Lifting the sector were bank stocks, as the SPDR S&P Bank ETF (KBE) and the Regional Banking ETF (KRE) popped more than 2.5 percent.
Energy stocks were also among the best performers, with the sector rising 0.4 percent, as they received a lift from oil prices. Crude rose 1.7 percent to settle at $50.35 per barrel, building on Wednesday's gains after better-than-expected inventories data.
"Although the relatively bullish US crude inventories data and supply disruptions in Libya have provided oil markets a welcome boost, the gains may be limited as investors mull over the effectiveness of OPEC's supply cuts," said Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at FXTM.
The Nasdaq composite rose 0.3 percent to post a record close.