Investors were encouraged Thursday by a surprising drop in weekly jobless claims – down to their lowest level in three and half years – and economic data showing rising consumer confidence as the Dow Jones Industrial average rallied up 62 points to finish at 12,169.65.

"The jobless data was positive this morning, and is the kind of news that has some people revising their GDP forecasts to be a bit better," Frank Davis, director of sales and trading at LEK Securities in New York, told Reuters. "So long as no dire news comes out, I expect us to edge up through the end of the year."

The Nasdaq gained 21 points to 2,599.45 while the S&P 500 added 10 points to close at 1,254 flat.

Here are some more details from Thursday’s trading session:

Dow Jones Industrial Average:

  • Up 61.91 points, or 0.51%, to 12169.65.
  • Up three consecutive trading days.
  • Up 403.39 points, or 3.43%, over the three-day period.
  • Largest three-day points & percentage gain since December 02, 2011.
  • Up four of the past six trading days.
  • Highest closing value since December 09, 2011.
  • An intraday high of 12182.71 occurred at 13:35:12 today, representing an increase of 74.97 points, or 0.62%.
  • An intraday low of 12107.37 occurred at 09:30:02 today, representing a decrease of 0.37 points.
  • Twenty-three of the 30 component stocks rose, seven fell.
  • Today's top five contributors to The Dow's movement and their point contribution: XOM (8.85), JPM (8.55), MMM (7.34), CVX (6.66), BA (5.30).
  • Today's bottom five laggards: MCD (-4.54), KO (-2.88), WMT (-1.51), UTX (-0.83), HD (-0.61).
  • Traded in positive territory for more than 99 percent of the day
  • Down 14.08% from its record close of 14164.53 on October 09, 2007.
  • Up 5.15% from 52 weeks ago.
  • Down 5.00% from its 52 week high of 12810.54 on April 29, 2011.
  • Up 14.21% from its 52 week low of 10655.30 on October 03, 2011.
  • Month-to-date: up 1.03%.
  • Year-to-date: up 5.11%.

Dow Jones U.S. Total Stock Market Index:

  • Dow Jones U.S. Total Stock Market, up 107.62 points, or 0.84%, or approximately $123 billion in market capitalization, to 12995.01*.
  • Up three consecutive trading days.
  • Up 521.02 points, or 4.18%, over the three-day period.
  • Largest three-day points & percentage gain since December 02, 2011.
  • Up five of the past six trading days.
  • Highest closing value since December 09, 2011.
  • Down 17.47% (approximately $4.1 trillion in market cap), from its record close of 15745.39 on October 09, 2007.
  • Down 1.01% from 52 weeks ago.
  • Down 9.18% from its 52 week high of 14308.37 on April 29, 2011.
  • Up 15.01% from its 52 week low of 11299.07 on October 03, 2011.
  • Month-to-date: up 0.47%.
  • Year-to-date: down 1.04% (approximately $356 billion in market cap).
  • Up 91.10% (approximately $7.1 trillion in market cap), from the 12-½ year closing low of 6800.08 on March 9, 2009

Data courtesy of Dow Jones Indexes.