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Stock indexes close at record highs in shortened holiday trading

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The New York Stock Exchange had a shortened trading day on July 3.
(Johannes Eisele / AFP / Getty Images)

Investors extended a rally through a holiday-shortened day and pushed the S&P 500 index to its third straight record-high close on Wednesday. Other major indexes also closed at record highs.

The rally follows a slight easing of trade tensions between the U.S. and China. Both nations have agreed to refrain from new tariffs while they open a new round of negotiations. The development relieved some pressure on the market, though the trade war still looms over global economic growth.

The S&P 500 rose 22.81 points, or 0.8%, to close at 2,995.82. The third record-high close in as many days also pushed the index closer to breaching the 3,000 mark.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average also reached a record, gaining 179.32 points, or 0.7%, to close at 26,966. Technology stocks led the gains, helping the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite join the record-breaking club. The Nasdaq rose 61.14 points, or 0.8%, to 8,170.23.

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Cybersecurity software company Symantec surged 13.6% and did much of the heavy lifting on Wednesday as media reports suggest it is considering a sale to chipmaker Broadcom. Communications and internet companies were also among the biggest gainers, with strong pushes from Facebook and Netflix.

A broad mix of healthcare companies lifted that sector. Johnson & Johnson rose 1.5% and Merck rose 1.6%.

Tesla rose 4.6% after telling investors that it delivered more electric cars in the second quarter than any three-month period in its history. The upbeat trading comes as the electric car maker struggles to meet production promises and to consistently make money.

The records are adding to a yearlong rally. The S&P 500 is up more than 19% so far, while the Dow is up more than 15%. The Nasdaq is now up 23% for the year.

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The market will be closed Thursday for the Independence Day holiday.

Investors will be on the lookout for the government’s closely watched monthly jobs report scheduled for Friday. The results of that report will likely be a factor in the Federal Reserve’s meeting later this month. The central bank has already said it is prepared to cut rates to shore up the U.S. economy if trade disputes crimp growth.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.95% from 1.97% Tuesday.

In commodities trading, benchmark crude oil rose $1.09 to settle at $57.34 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, rose $1.42 to close at $63.82 a barrel.

The dollar rose to 107.87 Japanese yen from 107.84 yen on Friday. The euro fell to $1.1278 from $1.1291.


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