Wall Street stocks shook off the attack on the pharmaceutical industry by President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday, and pushed higher ahead of major bank earnings releases this week.
Trump's first press conference since being elected US president overshadowed activity on most stock markets.
Equity markets in Europe and Japan secured modest gains, while oil prices rose and the dollar fell against the euro.
The market is "bullish and hopeful that the new administration and Congress can deliver these new plans right away," said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank.
US equities were volatile, swooning at mid-session after Trump lambasted drug companies for "getting away with murder" in offshoring production capacity and overcharging for drugs. He said he would push to change the bidding procedures for drugs.
The remarks hammered leading drug companies, including Bristol-Myers Squibb, which lost 5.3 percent and Pfizer, which shed 1.8 percent.
Trump also announced a plan to formally hand control of his business to his adult sons in a bid to avoid conflicts of interest.
He angrily dismissed questions about his relationship with Russia following unsubstantiated claims that his aides colluded with the Kremlin to win the US election, and that Russia has compromising information on Trump.
Wednesday's gains lifted the Dow by 0.5 percent to 19,954.28, within 50 points of the much-watched 20,000 level. Ablin said the market remains broadly bullish about the US in expectations of tax cuts and other pro-growth policies.
Energy shares rallied on higher oil prices, while Apple and some other tech companies advanced. Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo all rose ahead of eagerly-anticipated earnings releases Friday.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 managed another record closing, ending 0.2 percent higher.
The FTSE's recent rally has been fueled by the weak pound -- which has struck multi-year lows and languished since Britain's EU exit vote on June 23 -- as it boosts share prices of multi-nationals as they profit from favorable exchange rates.
The dollar retreated against the euro and the yen. However, the US currency hit a new high against the Mexican peso, which continues to languish amid expectations of tough US trade and immigration policies under Trump.
Trump reiterated that he would punish companies that move US jobs offshore and would force Mexico to compensate the United States for a giant wall between the two countries to prevent illegal immigration.
- Key figures around 2200 GMT -
New York - Dow: UP 0.5 percent at 19,954.28 (close)
New York - S&P 500: UP 0.3 percent at 2,275.32 (close)
New York - Nasdaq: UP 0.2 percent at 5,563.65 (close)
London - FTSE 100: UP 0.2 percent at 7,290.49 (close)
Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.5 percent at 11,646.17 (close)
Paris - CAC 40: UP less than 0.1 percent at 4,888.71 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.1 percent at 3,307.94 (close)
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.3 percent at 19,364.67 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.8 percent at 3,136.75 (close)
Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.8 percent at 22,935.35 (close)
Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0585 from $1.0476
Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2214 from $1.2101
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 115.40 yen from 116.68 yen
Oil - West Texas Intermediate: UP $1.43 at $52.25 per barrel
Oil - Brent North Sea: UP $1.46 at $55.10