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Dow, S&P Close at All-Time Highs for 12th Time Since Election Day

U.S. equities closed sharply higher on Wednesday as the Dow and S&P hit new record highs, while investors awaited a monetary policy announcement from the European Central Bank.

The S&P 500 erased earlier losses to gain around 1.3 percent, with telecoms rallying around 2.4 percent to lead advancers.

"The areas that have worked [since the election] continue to work," said Adam Sarhan, CEO at 50 Park Investments.

Like a Hot Knife Through Butter

"This 2,219 level [on the S&P] was on where a lot of people were expecting to see some resistance, and we went through it like a hot knife through butter," said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade, adding stocks were also boosted by some short covering.

"A lot of people have been saying 'this is the end' and have ended up with very little money in their hands," he added.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained nearly 300 points, with Home Depot, IBM and Goldman Sachs contributing the most gains. The Dow Transports, meanwhile, traded at their first intraday high since 2014. Since November 8, transports have risen more than 12 percent.

As of Wednesday's close, the Dow has posted gains in 18 of the past 22 sessions and 12 record closes since the election. The S&P and the Nasdaq, meanwhile, have risen 4.8 percent and 3.9 percent since November 8, respectively.

"We've obviously had a pretty significant run over the past few weeks, but with hardly any down days," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities. "The market is trying to price in a paradigm of fiscal stimulus and deregulation."

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 270 points, or 1.4 percent, to trade at 19,523, with Home Depot leading advancers and Pfizer the biggest decliner.

The S&P 500 gained 26 points, or 1.2 percent, to 2,238, with telecommunications leading 10 sectors lower and health care the only decliner.

The Nasdaq composite advanced 63 points, or 1.2 percent, to 5,397.