Bank of America announced $25B buyback plan as quarterly profit more than doubles

Stocks hit records highs Thursday as investors sifted through strong economic data and another batch of earnings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 206 points, or 0.61%, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.71% and 0.98%, respectively. Both the Dow and the S&P were trading at all-time highs.

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The early advance comes after the Census Bureau said retail sales surged 9.8% month over month in March, far exceeding the 5.9% gain that analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting. Additionally,  initial jobless claims for the week ended April 10 totaled 576,000, the lowest since lockdowns aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 began in March 2020.