The Dow is now less than 100 points from its all-time high Wednesday after rising sharply for a second-straight day.
The market surged following more evidence that the Fed will keep interest rates low, housing will keep recovering and shoppers aren't pulling back on spending, even with a payroll tax hike.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 175.24 points to 14,075.37. The index is now within reach of its record close of 14,164 reached in October 2007.
The Dow has surged 290 points in the past two days, erasing its drop of 216 points Monday when inconclusive results from an election in Italy renewed worries that Europe's fiscal crisis could flare up again.
"The market psychology has clearly shifted. It's no longer sell the rally, it's buy the dips," said Dan Veru, chief investment officer of Palisade Capital Management.
Stocks have surged since the start of the year. The Dow is up 7.4 percent.
The S&P 500 gained 1.27 percent to 1,515.99. The Nasdaq composite index rose 1.04 percent to 3,162.26. -- AP