The Dow Jones transports closed at an all-time high on Thursday, leading U.S. stocks higher and signaling more gains due to its role as a touchtone of economic demand.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 72.35 points, or 0.57 percent, to end unofficially at 12,763.31. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 4.82 points, or 0.36 percent, to finish unofficially at 1,360.48. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 2.65 points, or 0.09 percent, to close unofficially at 2,872.53.

The Dow Jones Transportation Average <.DJT> closed at a record 5,510.06, up 1.18 percent.

(Reporting by Angela Moon; Editing by Jan Paschal)