TORONTO -- Bank and consumer stocks drove the Toronto Stock Exchange higher today, as shares in Hudson's Bay (TSX:HBC) soared 15 per cent amid investor pressure to unlock value from its real estate assets.

The S&P/TSX composite index gained 73.50 points to 15,266.04, with more than two-thirds of sectors finishing the session ahead.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average surged 144.71 points to 21,528.99 and the S&P 500 index climbed 20.31 points to 2,453.46, as both markets hit record highs. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index rose 87.25 points to 6,239.01.

In currency markets, the Canadian dollar jumped 0.07 of a U.S. cent to an average price of 75.64 cents US.

Commodities were mostly negative as the August crude contract lost 54 cents at US$44.43 per barrel and the July natural gas contract was down 14 cents at US$2.89 per mmBTU.

The August gold contract gave back $9.80 to US$1,246.70 an ounce, while the July copper contract advanced three cents at US$2.59 a pound.