The Standard & Poor's 500 index closed at a fresh 13-month high on Wednesday as an upbeat forecast from a top homebuilder and data from China pointed to a strengthening global economy.

The Dow also closed at a 13-month high, rising for sixth straight day, with comments from top Federal Reserve officials suggesting low interest rates will stay for some time added to the positive tone.

Luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers Inc late Tuesday forecast revenue that was sharply higher than expected, lifting the Dow Jones homebuilders index <.DJUSHB> 7.1 percent. Toll jumped 16.4 percent to $21.41.

Data before the open showed Chinese factory output rose to a 19-month high in October. Investors bet the data heralded growing demand in the world's third-largest economy.

Shares of Wal-Mart , up 1.3 percent at $52.97, gave the biggest lift to the Dow, which recorded its longest winning streak since August.

There was fairly bullish news coming from China with respect to its industrial production, which has exerted upward pressure on commodities and commodity-related stocks, said Matt Kaufler, portfolio manager and equity analyst at Clover Capital Management in Rochester, New York.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 44.29 points, or 0.43 percent, at 10,291.26. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 5.50 points, or 0.50 percent, at 1,098.51. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 15.82 points, or 0.74 percent, at 2,166.90.

Volume was light due to the Veterans Day holiday. Federal offices and the U.S. bond market closed for the day.

Fed comments from Tuesday that the U.S. recovery would be bumpy bolstered the view that rates will stay low and economic stimulus will remain intact, a boon for stocks.

Investors were waiting to see when all the stimulus would be withdrawn and what would happen then. Now, they think stimulus won't be withdrawn for a lot longer than they used to, said Michael Pento, senior market strategist at Delta Global Advisors.

Dragging on the market, Macy's Inc , the department store operator, tumbled 8.1 percent to $17.86 after the company gave a gloomy outlook on same-store sales for the fourth quarter.

(Additional reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; Editing by Kenneth Barry)