U.S. stocks rose for a third straight day on Thursday, sparked by results from Bank of America and Morgan Stanley and as the latest jobless claims dropped to a near four-year low.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 45.03 points, or 0.36 percent, to end unofficially at 12,623.98. The S&P 500 Index <.SPX> gained 6.46 points, or 0.49 percent, to 1,314.50. The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 18.62 points, or 0.67 percent, to 2,788.33.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Jan Paschal)