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U.S. stocks rose on Thursday after comments made by President Donald Trump lifted steel stocks, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the administration was close to "major tax reform," and companies released quarterly results.
Mnuchin, who this week backed off of his earlier goal of passing tax reform by August, said the White House will unveil a plan "very soon." However, the Trump administration previously set deadlines for releasing its tax plan that it did not meet.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose more than 200 points, with American Express contributing the most gains. The credit-card giant reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings, buoyed in part by higher spending numbers from card members.
Verizon, another member of the Dow Jones index, missed the mark on both earnings and revenue. The company attributed a 5.1 percent drop in sales to decreased overage revenue, lower postpaid customers in the quarter, and continued promotional activity.
Sentiment on Wall Street was also lifted by a new GOP plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. Trump has said repeatedly his administration would first tackle health care before moving forward with tax reform, a boon for the market since the U.S. election.
"There are just a bunch of little things adding to this rally today," said Jeremy Klein, chief market strategist at FBN Securities.
Investors also looked ahead to the first round of the French presidential election, which is scheduled for Sunday. Uncertainty around the election has grown over the past month after far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon's surprising surge in the polls.