The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed Thursday above 16,000 for the first time in its history.

Officially, the Dow rose 109.17 points to finish at 16,009.99.

The S&P closed up 14.48 to 1,795.85.  The Nasdaq, up 47.89 to 3,969.16.

Investors Thursday were impressed by lower-than-expected weekly U.S. initial jobless claims; claims fell by 21,000 to 323,000. The level of claims suggests that, while the U.S. economy still is not creating enough jobs to substantially lower the unemployment rate, business are not laying off many employees, with many firms saying that are cautiously looking to add staff. 

Meanwhile, gold closed down $17 to $1,241 per ounce. West Texas Intermediate crude oil closed up $1.33 to $95.18 per barrel.