Markets have taken a decidedly upbeat tact since the tax law signed into law Jan. 2 put an end to fears of an economy rolling off a so-called fiscal cliff.
Prior to the new year, markets fell in five consecutive sessions to close out 2012.
By close of trading on Wall Street Thursday, the Dow Jones industrial average added 80.71 points, or 0.6 percent, to 13,471.22. The Nasdaq composite gained 15.95 points, or 0.51 percent, to 3,121.76. The Standard and Poor's 500 added 11.10 points, or 0.76 percent, to 1,472.12.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 1,964 stocks advanced and 1,042 declined on a volume of 4 billion shares traded.
The 10-year treasury note fell 11/32 to yield 1.902 percent.
Against the dollar, the euro rose to $1.3272 from Wednesday's $1.3065. The dollar was higher at 88.90 yen from 87.88 yen.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index added 0.7 percent or 74.04 points to 10,652.64.
In London, the FTSE 100 index added 0.05 percent, 2.86 points, to 6,101.51.