The latest signal that the job market is improving sent stocks higher on Wall Street, putting major indexes on track for more record highs.

Payroll processor ADP said Thursday that private companies added 253,000 jobs last month, more than investors expected.

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Materials and health care companies made some of the biggest gains. Eastman Chemical rose 2.1 percent and Vertex Pharmaceuticals rose 2.5 percent.

Discount store chain Dollar General rose 3.2 percent after reporting higher earnings than analysts were expecting.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 6 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,418.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 36 points, or 0.2 percent, to 21,045. The Nasdaq composite climbed 19 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,217.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were both trading at record highs.