While some Wall Street pros say the recent surge has put stocks temporarily in an overbought state, the general consensus is that the bull is alive and well and will post further gains as the breakout continues. "I feel underinvested, but I'm not willing to chase stocks".
The S&P 500 index showed 40 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 64 new highs and four new lows.
Five of the 10 major S&P indexes were higher, led by a 0.6 percent rise in utilities. "Optimism is starting to creep into the market", said Brad Sorensen, director of the Schwab Center for Financial Research.
"The stock market is typically a discounting mechanism looking out 6-12 months, and if corporate profits begin to grow again stocks will move ahead of that".
Gold fell $1.80 to $1,356.60 an ounce, silver rose 2 cents to $20.30 an ounce, and copper rose 3 cents to $2.15 a pound.
Safe-haven assets such as US Treasuries, gold, and the Japanese yen rebounded after falling yesterday.
The benchmark S&P 500 hit 2,151.96, topping Monday's intraday record high by about 8 points, while the Dow rose to 18,353.76 to top its previous record intraday high touched in May 2015. The S&P 500 was up 11.49 points, or 0.53 percent, at 2,163.77. The tech-rich Nasdaq rose 28.33 points (0.57 per cent) to 5,034.06.
The U.S. gains followed rallies in Germany, France and Japan, with stock indexes in each of those countries rising more than 1 percent.
Thursday's gains in USA and European shares helped push MSCI's all-country world equity index to an eight-month high of 412.47.
Implied volatility is at its lowest level of the year, a sign that the latest stock rally had room for additional upside. "If banks are healthy. then that clearly has more positive implications for economic growth".
Investors' appetite for equities has increased after a stronger-than-expected USA jobs report for June last Friday and low yields on government bonds.
"Anyone inclined to sell did so" earlier, he said, "and now the market is dominated by buyers".
Solid earnings reports on Thursday helped lift stocks for a fifth straight session.
In corporate news, shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co. gained 1.52 percent to 64.12 US dollars apiece Thursday, after the USA bank posted better- than-expected quarterly results. Cisco Systems has gained 9 percent, Salesforce is up 4.5 percent, Adobe Systems has risen 3.8 percent and Intel has gained 1.4 percent. On the Nasdaq, 1,372 issues rose and 1,318 fell.
Citigroup and Wells Fargo are scheduled to report results on Friday. The FTSE 100 edged up 0.2 percent.
The dollar was last down 0.27% at 104.41 yen, while spot gold recovered slightly from its lowest in almost two weeks. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 1.1 percent. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.50 percent from 1.43 percent.
The British pound surged nearly two percent on Tuesday to $1.3250 as investors bought back the currency on May's appointment as prime minister. The euro rose to $1.1111 from $1.1067 and the dollar fell to 104.22 yen from 104.79 yen.
At the final bell, American benchmark West Texas Intermediate traded at 45.01 a barrel - a 3.7 percent decline, while global benchmark Brent crude was at 46.49 - a 4.2 percent fall.