Stocks continued to move further into record territory on Thursday as Wall Street extended the sharp advances seen in the prior Fed-fueled session when the central bank retained its stimulus program.
The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 0.1% at the opening bell and the Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 0.3%. The Nasdaq composite index rose 0.4%.
On Wednesday, both the Dow and the S&P 500 surpassed their previous record highs set on Aug. 2.
The Dow rose 1% to close at 15,676.94. The S&P 500 jumped 1.2% to 1,725.52. The Nasdaq composite rose 37.94 points, or 1%, to 3,783.64 - its highest close since Sept. 22, 2000. The small-stock Russell 2000 also finished at a record high 1.076.06, up 9.68 points, or 0.9% for the day.
The surprise decision by the Fed to delay tapering also caused a major bond market rally, causing the yield on the 10-year Treasury note to dip to 2.7%, down from 2.85% Tuesday.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo rose 1.8% to 14,766.18, even though government data showed a bigger-than-expected gap in trade. Hong Kong''s Hang Seng jumped 1.7 to 23,502.51. Markets in South Korea and mainland China were closed for public holidays.
European shares rallied. Britain's FTSE 100 index was up 1.4% and Germany's DAX index gained 1%. France's CAC 40 rose 0.9%.
Benchmark oil for October delivery was up 23 cents to $108.30 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained $2.65, or 2.5%, to close at $108.07 on Wednesday.
By Kim Hjelmgaard