"Nothing to dent the positive risk start to the year here," said Alan Ruskin, an analyst at Deutsche Bank.
While the evidence points to continued economic growth in the U.S., figures elsewhere highlighted the scale of the downturn in the economy of the 17 European Union countries that use the euro.
The manufacturing purchasing managers' index — a gauge of business activity published by data provider Markit — showed the eurozone's industrial sector remained mired in recession in December. The index fell to 46.1 from 46.3 the previous month. Anything below 50 indicates a contraction in activity.
How the European economy fares over the coming months will likely hinge on developments in the debt crisis. In the last few months of 2012, tensions eased largely in the wake of the announcement of a new bond-buying plan from the European Central Bank.
That has shored up the euro, which on Wednesday was down 0.1 percent at $1.3192, having earlier traded as much as 0.5 percent higher on the day.
Oil prices pushed higher, with the benchmark New York contract up $1.26 at $92.96 a barrel.
Sampson contributed from Bangkok.
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