The Dow Jones stock index has moved closer to hitting a record closing high, with investors boosted by easing concerns over US inflation.
Consumer spending is crucial to the health of the US economy
It ended up 24 points to 11,694 on Wednesday, closing in on its all-time high of 11,750 reached in January 2000.
The Dow is continuing to benefit from falling oil prices and signs that US interest rates may have peaked.
Economists are hopeful that consumer spending will remain resilient in the face of a cooling economy.
Lower interest rates?
Consumer confidence rose unexpectedly in September, helped by falling petrol prices and more confidence in the job sector.
The improvement in sentiment came despite ongoing weakness in the housing market, with prices still down on last year, and retail sales remaining subdued.
Analysts are also encouraged by the Federal Reserve's decision to freeze interest rates at 5.25% for two successive months, signalling to some that inflation is under control and that rates could even fall next year.
After peaking in January 2000, the bursting of the tech-bubble saw the Dow fall to 7,286.27 in October 2002 before the recovery began.