Wall Street closed out its fifth straight quarterly gain Wednesday, continuing its comeback from a steep drop in early 2020 at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The S&P 500 edged higher, bringing its advance over the past three months to 8.2% and 14.4% for the first half of the year . The Dow Jones rose and the Nasdaq fell. Optimism over the economy’s prospects as coronavirus restrictions continue to lift has sent the market to a series of record highs, including the third straight for the S&P 500, the AP reports. The S&P 500 rose 5.70 points, or 0.1%, to 4,297.50. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 210.22 points, or 0.6%, to 34,502.51. The Nasdaq fell 24.38 points, or 0.2%, to 14,503.95.
Inflation concerns have been receding through much of the quarter and that has helped push solid gains for technology companies. COVID-19 variants also prompted investors to put more money into the sector, which did particularly well during the height of the pandemic. Investors got another dose of good economic news on Wednesday when payroll processor ADP said the private sector created 692,000 jobs last month. above economists' forecasts. The big jobs data point will come on Friday, when the monthly jobs report is released. Economists are expecting to see that employers created 675,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate fell to 5.7%.
(Read more stock market