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Modest gains drive stock indexes to more record highs

Investors capped a day of light trading on Wall Street ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday by serving up another set of stock market record highs.

The S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq composite closed at all-time highs for the third straight day Wednesday.

A batch of positive U.S. economic data helped spur the broad rally, extending the market’s recent string of gains. Stock indexes have been breaking records in recent weeks as the U.S. and China have signaled that negotiations aimed at resolving their costly trade war are going well.

"This is an environment where we continue an economic expansion, albeit at a somewhat slower rate," said Bill Northey, senior investment director at U.S. Bank Wealth Management. "There is a very positive sentiment around U.S. equity markets."

The S&P 500 index rose 0.4%, to 3,153.63.

The Dow gained 42.32 points, or 0.2%, to 28,164. The Nasdaq climbed 0.7%, to 8,705.18. The Russell 2000 added  0.6%, to 1,634.10.

Traders continue to wait for developments in the latest round of negotiations between the world’s largest economies. The key question is whether they'll be able to reach a deal before Dec. 15, when new tariffs are set to kick in on many Chinese-made items, including smartphones and laptops. -- AP

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