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Wavering stocks inch a bit further into record heights

A Wall Street street sign outside the NYSE

A Wall Street street sign outside the NYSE on July 16, 2013. Photo Credit: AP

U.S. stocks inched a bit further into record territory Wednesday after teeter-tottering through the day. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose by just a sliver, but it was enough for a seventh straight gain.

The S&P 500 climbed 3.16 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,537.74. The seven-day win streak is the index’s longest since May.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 19.97 points, or 0.1 percent, to 22,661.64, and the Nasdaq composite picked up 2.91, or less than 0.1 percent, to 6,534.63. All three indexes added to records set a day earlier.

A report from payroll processor ADP said that hiring by private employers weakened sharply last month, a setback for an economy that had been enjoying a generally strengthening job market. But economists and investors were expecting a low number because of the damage done by hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which hopefully will be only temporary.

Other reports painted a more encouraging picture. The Institute for Supply Management reported that the nation’s services companies expanded last month at their fastest rate in more than a decade.

“Things continue to be very solid, and the economic numbers continue to be very strong not only here but throughout the world, which is what’s driving this,” said Kirk Hartman, global chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Asset Management.

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