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US stocks head higher, add to market’s solid string of gains

Stocks are moving broadly higher on Wall Street in afternoon trading Wednesday, extending the market’s milestone-setting run.
The S&P 500 was up 0.9%, with health care, financial, communications and household goods companies driving the rally. Technology stocks, which have led the market’s rebound this year, were moving higher after an early stumble. Energy companies fell as oil prices headed lower. Treasury yields were mixed.
Investors appeared to shrug off a report showing that U.S. companies added 428,000 jobs in August, far less than what economists had expected. The survey by payroll processor ADP comes ahead of the government’s more comprehensive monthly hiring report due out Friday.
DraftKings jumped 6.7% after announcing that basketball legend Michael Jordan would take an ownership stake in the company in exchange for becoming a special advisor to the sports betting site.
Macy’s was down 0.3%, shedding an early gain, after reporting a quarterly loss that was much smaller than analysts were anticipating. The department store chain said its digital sales rose more than 50% in the latest quarter.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 251 points, or 0.9%, to 28,897 as of 1:03 p.m. Eastern time. The Nasdaq composite, which is heavily weighted with tech stocks, rose 0.3%, recovering from an early drop. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks was up 0.3%.
Markets in Europe were broadly higher. Germany’s DAX rose 2%, while France’s CAC 40 added 1.8%. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 1.3%. Asian markets ended mixed.
U.S. stocks remain in record territory after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq set all-time highs in recent weeks. The benchmark S&P 500 index is up 10.1% this year following a five month streak of gains, while the Nasdaq is up more than 33%.
Wall Street’s push higher has been powered by gains in technology stocks that investors expect will remain safe bets throughout the pandemic and beyond, reflecting how reliant people have become on internet-connected devices and online services while spending more time at home.
Encouraging data as more businesses shut down due to the pandemic have reopened and hope that the race to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 will yield results by the end of this year have fueled investor optimism that the economy will bounce back from a deep recession.
Treasury yields were mixed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 0.65% from 0.67% late Tuesday, while the yield on the 2-year note rose to 0.13% from 0.12%.
Oil prices headed lower. Benchmark U.S. crude oil was down 2.6% to $41.66 a barrel, while Brent crude oil, the international standard, was off 2.3% to $44.55 a barrel.