U.S. stocks jumped on Thursday after strong results from Cisco lifted technology stocks, and an expansion in business productivity and a fall in jobless claims encouraged investors about the economy.

Technology bellwether Cisco shares shot up 2.5 percent to $23.87 after the company reported earnings after the bell on Wednesday. Its quarterly revenue rose more than expected, and its board authorized up to $10 billion in stock buybacks.

U.S. non-farm productivity rose more than expected in the third quarter as companies squeezed more output from a smaller pool of labor, while fewer U.S. workers filed new jobless insurance claims than forecast last week -- hitting a 10-month low.

Cisco results are being taken seriously by Wall Street and it has confirmed the strong upward trend ... their positive outlook and good access to the global environment is helping the overall market, said Brad Sorensen, director of market analysis at the Schwab Center for Financial Research.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> ran up 181.98 points, or 1.86 percent, at 9,984.12. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 17.31 points, or 1.65 percent, at 1,063.81. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 46.35 points, or 2.25 percent, at 2,101.87.

Other technology stocks also advanced. Intel Corp gained 2 percent to $18.96 and Microsoft rose 2.1 percent to $28.66.

Shares of IMS Health Inc soared 23.8 percent to $20.81 after the company agreed to be bought by TPG and CPP Investment board. The deal was valued at $5.2 billion, including the assumption of debt.

But CVS Caremark Corp tumbled 20.4 percent to $28.76 after comments from Chief Executive Tom Ryan on weakness in the pharmacy benefit management business.

U.S. retail chains reported October sales that rebounded from the lows of a year ago, but many failed to surpass Wall Street's increased expectations as consumers spend selectively headed into the holiday season. The S&P retail index <.RLX> rose 1.9 percent.

(Reporting by Angela Moon, Editing by Jan Paschal)