S&P 500 Hits New High

After flirting all week with a new peak, the benchmark S&P 500 index closed at an all-time high on Thursday, at 1,569.19 points.

The index, which comprises 500 large-cap American companies covering about 75 percent of the American equity market by capitalization, previously touched its record of 15,65.15 on Oct. 9, 2007.

It rose 0.4 percent Thursday, signaling improved investor confidence on the back of rising corporate earnings by U.S. companies.

Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average also increased 0.4 percent to 14,578.54.

A basket of industry stocks tracked by Footwear News advanced an average of 0.3 percent, buoyed by a strong gain in shares of Finish Line Inc.

Finish Line reported its fourth-quarter income Thursday morning, which came in under estimates. Investors rushed to buy the stock on weakness, holding out for significant long-term upside, sending the stock up 6.6 percent to $19.59.

Shares of Deckers Outdoor Corp. also surged after a Jefferies analyst aggressively boosted his price target on the firm to $100 from $65.

“We view the Ugg Australia brand as a core staple and believe recent challenged fundamentals were driven by external factors such as weather and rising costs,” the analyst, Randal Konik, wrote in a research statement.

Deckers, the second-largest footwear gainer Thursday, closed 5.7 percent higher at $55.69.

Genesco Inc. logged the third-largest increase, with its shares rising 2.1 percent, to $60.09.