Wall Street notched a series of record highs Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ending the trading day at 26,966, its highest close since Oct. 3. The S&P 500 hit a record for the third straight day, closing at 2,995, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.7 percent, to close at 8,170.
Markets shuttered at 1 p.m., following an abbreviated day of trading ahead of the July 4 holiday.
Traders were reacting to a mixed bag of economic data that included ADP’s monthly payroll figures, which showed the private sector added just 102,000 jobs in June, versus estimates of 135,000.
The lower number, which some economists fear could indicate stagnation in the robust labor market, underscores the case for the Federal Reserve to cut rates at its July 30 two-day monetary policy meeting.
Investors were also responding positively to the news that President Donald Trump's latest nominees to the Fed board, Judy Shelton and Christopher Waller, would be more likely to advocate for rate cuts.
Shelton, who was earlier speculated to be a pick for the Fed board, said that if appointed, she would lower interest rates to 0 percent in one to two years, echoing calls from Trump.
All eyes still remain on Friday's crucial jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The monthly jobs number is expected to show 165,000 jobs added to the economy in June. A disappointing figure would further strengthen the case for the Fed to adjust its benchmark interest rate downwards.
May's monthly employment snapshot took the market by surprise, revealing that the economy had added just 75,000 jobs that month. ADP's payroll also came in weak, with a mere 27,000 jobs added to the private sector in May — the lowest since 2010.