The S&P 500 tech sector.SPLRCT broke its previous record closing high that had held since March 2000 in the midst of the dot-com and Y2K tech stocks bubble.
US stocks opened higher on Wednesday as investors digested key housing data and more quarterly earnings.
The major European markets also moved to the upside on the day.
All three major United States stock indices finished at new records, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 66.02 points (0.31 per cent) to 21,640.75, edging past a prior record set earlier this month by three points.
The Nasdaq Composite was up 30.37 points, or 0.48 percent, at 6,374.67.
"Markets are focused on fundamentals, and earnings and the economy are underpinning equities", said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey. "I'm not as convinced on that", he said. USA crude for August delivery settled up 1.6% to $47.12 a barrel - its highest level since June 6 - after a US government report showed sharp drawdowns in oil and fuel stockpiles, boosting energy stocks.
Eight of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, with the health index's 0.78 percent rise leading the advancers. Vertex Pharmaceuticals shares jumped $27.53, or 21%, to $159.69 - the biggest percentage increase in the S&P 500 on Wednesday - after the company said three of its cystic-fibrosis drugs in development showed promise in early clinical trials treating the progressive lung disorder.
Daily September E-mini Dow Jones Industrial Average
However, Goldman Sachs reported a 40 percent drop in bond trading revenue, driving its shares lower by 2.3 percent and weighing on the Dow.
Shares of Netflix Inc. rocketed 9.1% to open well into record territory Tuesday, as investors and analysts cheered the video streaming service's second-quarter results.The company added 5.2 million memberships during the second quarter compared with the Wall Street consensus of 3.2 million driven by worldwide subscriber growth. Netflix exceeded its quarterly subscriber growth estimate after the market closed on Monday.
Meanwhile, a notable drop by IBM (IBM) limited the upside for the Dow after the tech giant reported better than expected second quarter earnings but weaker than expected revenues.
"In the USA, the earnings season seems to be surprising a little bit on the upside", said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank in Cleveland.
The Stoxx Europe 600 gained 0.8%.
Monetary policy announcements by the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank may attract attention on Thursday. ECB President Mario Draghi gave a speech in late June that many interpreted as a signal that ultraloose monetary policy may come to an end. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index edged up by 0.1%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index climbed by 0.6%.