U.S. Stocks End Higher; S&P 500, Dow At Records

The U.S. stock market finished Thursday's sleepy session amid low volumes slightly higher. Incremental gains on the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average were enough for the indexes to notch new records. Action across sectors was more colorful, however. Gains in energy and technology sectors outweighed losses in healthcare and consumer staples sector stocks. Investors appeared to focus on positive earnings results from retailers such as Best Buy Co. and Urban Outfitters, while a rise in oil prices lifted energy stocks. Helping overall sentiment was a batch of data that pointed at continuing improvement in the economy. Small companies outperformed large companies, with the Russell 2000 adding 1.1% to 1,170.80. The S&P 500 closed 4 points, or 0.2% higher at 2,052.76. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 33.11 points, or 0.2%, to 17,718.84. The Nasdaq Composite ended the day up 26.16 points, or 0.6%, at 4,701.87.

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