(CNBC) U.S. equities closed higher on Thursday as retailers rose, led by Target.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose about 25 points, notching a record close, with Wal-Mart, Goldman Sachs and Apple contributing the most gains. The S&P 500 gained 0.2 percent, with Target among the best performers.

Shares of Target climbed 4.8 percent after the company said it expects “modest increase” in second-quarter comparable-store sales, a metric closely watched by Wall Street for retail stocks. Target added it expects second-quarter earnings to come in above the high end of the forecast. The stock had traded more than 6 percent higher in the premarket.

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.