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By Fred Imbert, CNBC

U.S. equities kicked off Wednesday trading sharply higher, with the Dow Jones industrial average climbing above 21,000 for the first time, on the back of President Donald Trump's speech to Congress.

Trump's speech, which was delivered Tuesday night, was widely praised for its positive tone but lacked specifics about tax reform and deregulation, two key components of the market's postelection rally.

Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial, said the speech's tone "has gone a long way for the market" as it "assuaged fears that his agenda was not going to be able to be passed."

The Dow advanced around 200 points with Goldman Sachs contributing the most gains. The Dow first closed above 20,000 on January 25.

The S&P 500 climbed 0.87 percent, with financials rising 2.3 percent to lead advancers. The Nasdaq jumped 0.83 percent.

"While it's understandable that these things take time to plan and implement properly, markets have been way ahead of the game since Trump's victory and there comes a time when we need to know exactly what they're rallying on," said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda, in a note.

Equities had closed lower on Tuesday, with the Dow snapping a 12-day winning streak.