Updated from 4:09 p.m. EDT

Stocks ended higher across the board Thursday, as investors cheered some better-than-expected jobless data and portfolio managers added to positions before the end of the quarter.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 67 points, or 0.7%, at 9079. The Nasdaq was up 31 points, or almost 2%, at 1634, while the S&P 500 was up 10 points, or 1%, at 986.

"I think we've got some window dressing here," said Peter Cardillo, chief market strategist at Global Partners Securities. "The fact that the unemployment numbers went down is certainly a positive, too."

At the end of the quarter, money managers typically buy stocks that have done well in order to make their portfolios look more attractive. That they may have only been holding the stocks for a short time is usually downplayed in the quarterly statement (although investors can see from the fund's returns how well the manager really performed).

While a downward revision of first-quarter gross domestic product unnerved some investors Thursday, an encouraging report on weekly jobless claims helped offset some of the concerns.

GDP was adjusted to 1.4% from 1.9%, but weekly jobless claims dropped to 404,000 in the latest week, compared to 412,000 in the previous week. Economists had been expecting a level of 415,000. The four-week moving average, which strips out weekly fluctuations, declined 5,250 to 428,250.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve released the minutes of its May policy meeting, in which it decided to leave rates unchanged. Although the central bank felt that the economy was weak enough to warrant a rate cut back then, it postponed the move because "not enough time had elapsed since the end of the Iraqi war to sort out the underlying forces at work in the economy."

On Wednesday, stocks and bonds declined after the Fed cut interest rates by a quarter percentage point to 1%, the lowest level since 1958. Stock investors were hoping for a more optimistic policy statement, while bond investors had been pricing in a more aggressive cut. Bonds were sharply lower Thursday, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rising to 3.52%.

"We feel that the Fed should have done more," said Tom Girard, managing director at Weiss, Peck & Greer. "It could have used 'shock and awe,' rather than the less aggressive approach that it actually took. A 50-basis-point cut would have sent a strong message to the market, but with a 25-basis-point ease and the accompanying statement, questions still linger about the Fed's future actions."

In corporate news, General Electric ( GE) said American International Group ( AIG) agreed to buy its Japanese life insurance unit and its U.S. car and home insurance business for $2.15 billion. GE was up 8 cents, or 0.3%, at $29.15.

Another deal that could be in the works is Lehman Brothers' ( LEH) possible purchase of Neuberger Berman ( NEU), a money management firm, for about $3 billion in stock and cash, according to media reports. Lehman was down 2%, or $1.71, at $67.77.

Lucent ( LU) was up 9 cents, or 4.6%, at $2.03 after the telecommunications giant secured a "multimillion dollar" contract to supply equipment to E-plus, Germany's third-largest wireless provider.

Also from the telecom arena, equipment maker Juniper Networks ( JNPR) said late Wednesday it signed a multiyear deal with Verizon ( VZ) to provide equipment to direct Internet traffic. Juniper was up 0.6%, or 7 cents, at $12.57.

If you liked this article you might like

Coming Week: Earnings Flood

Coming Week: Earnings Flood

Don't Write Off Inflation Threat

Don't Write Off Inflation Threat

No Quick Fix for Trade Gap

No Quick Fix for Trade Gap

Merrill's Doll Sees Stocks 'Muddling Through'

Merrill's Doll Sees Stocks 'Muddling Through'

Downhill From Profit Peak

Downhill From Profit Peak