U.S. stocks rallied 1% Thursday, building on the previous session's big gains, as investors cheered strong retail sales and welcomed the European Central Bank's plan to extend liquidity measures.
The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 107 points, or 1%; the S&P 500 climbed 15 points, or 1.3%; and the Nasdaq rose 30 points, or 1.2%.
Gains were broad-based, with all but three of the Dow 30 rising. Home Depot, Alcoa and Bank of America led the advances.
Retailers helped prop up stocks as strong chain-store sales rolled in, signaling consumers are loosening their purse strings. Shares of Abercrombie, Dillards and JCPenney all jumped.
"This continues the trend we've been seeing in the past couple months of retail sales being better than expected," said Ryan Detrick, senior technical strategist Schaeffer's Investment Research. "It's a very positive signal that consumers are coming back and confidence is coming back with them."