Slight gains for US indexes a day after the Dow industrial closed above 18,000 for first time

MarketsAssociated Press

Stocks are closing mostly higher a day after the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 18,000 for the first time.

Trading ended early Wednesday ahead of the Christmas holiday. Markets will reopen on Friday.

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Traders were encouraged by the latest positive news on the U.S. economy.

The government reported before the market opened that the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits is the lowest it's been in almost two months. That's a good sign for the job market.

The Dow rose six points, less than 0.1 percent, to 18,030.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index was flat at 2,081. The Nasdaq composite rose eight points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,773.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.27 percent.