Investors had a lot to be optimistic about Tuesday: Upbeat data from China and easing Syria concerns lifted the broader market. But the unveiling of two new iPhones didn't excite traders.
The Dow Jones industrial average jumped nearly 130 points, or 0.9 percent, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq each rose more than 0.6 percent, extending Monday's 1 percent gains.
The Nasdaq finished at its highest level since September 2000. The Dow is less than 3 percent below its all-time high from early August, while the S&P 500 is less than 2 percent shy from its all-time peak.
The broader market was likely moving higher again as concerns about a U.S.-led military strike on Syria have been pushed to the back burner. A military strike had seemed imminent last month and caused some extreme market volatility recently.
But politicians in Washington continue to debate the pros and cons of a strike. In addition, Secretary of State John Kerry raised the possibility Monday of avoiding an attack if Syria were to give up its chemical weapons.
Investors were also encouraged by more evidence that the Chinese economy has stabilized. Industrial output rose a robust 10.4 percent in August, the strongest in over a year. Retail sales and fixed asset investments last month also rose more than expected.
The reduced geopolitical tension and healthy economic data also sparked gains in Asian and European markets.
What's moving: Apple revealed two new iPhones: the iPhone 5S and less expensive "iPhone 5C. Shares of Apple closed more than 2 percent lower Tuesday, but the stock has run up nearly 20 percent in the past two months in anticipation of the announcement.
Shares of Urban Outfitters tumbled after it warned that its third-quarter same-store sales, a key measure for retailers, would only grow at a mid-single digit pace. That was below forecasts.
Netflix shares closed at al all-time high above $313 per share, surpassing their previous record of $304.79 reached in July 2011. The milestone was a popular topic on StockTwits.
The Dow's overhaul: Nike, Goldman Sachs and Visa were also in focus, as the three will be the newest members of the Dow, replacing Alcoa, Hewlett-Packard and Bank of America. Shares of Goldman, Nike and Visa all rose on the news. Alcoa and HP fell slightly while BofA was up more than 1 percent.
One trader joked that BofA may do even better now that it's out of the Dow. Another wondered if we'll still care about Alcoa's earnings. The company has typically been the first Dow component to report results, an honor it will soon lose.