New York– US stocks traded on an upbeat note on Thursday as investors were digesting a slew of economic data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 248.07 points, or 0.94 per cent, to 26,653.83. The S&P 500 was up 21.39 points, or 0.74 per cent, to 2,929.34, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 67.01 points, or 0.84 per cent, to 8,017.05.

The Dow hit record high since January in morning session, with Caterpillar and Apple stocks among the outperformers.

Shares of the companies gained 1.58 per cent and 1.15 per cent, respectively, around midday. Ten of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors traded higher, with technology and materials leading the advancers.

Tech sector rose more than 1 per cent, bolstering the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

On economic data, in the week ending September 15, US initial jobless claims stood at 201,000, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 204,000, the Department of Labor said on Thursday.

This is the lowest level for initial claims since November 15, 1969 when it was 197,000.

The 4-week moving average was 205,750, a decrease of 2,250 from the previous week’s unrevised average, it said.

Meanwhile, the Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the US increased 0.4 per cent in August to 111.2, following a 0.7 per cent increase in July. (IANS)