U.S. Stocks Open Modestly Higher, Nasdaq Hits Record

By Ryan VlastelicaMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

U.S. stocks edged higher at the open on Wednesday, putting the S&P 500 near record territory as a number of key technology stocks continued to lift the broader market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 16 points, or 0.1%, to 21,041. The S&P 500 gained 2 points, or 0.1%, to 2,415, putting it within points of an all-time high. The Nasdaq Composite Index hit a new intraday record in early trading, rising 18 points to 6,221, a gain of 0.3%. The tech sector has been the strongest performer of 2017, lifting the overall market. On Wednesday, Apple Inc. rose 0.2% while Facebook Inc. added 0.4%. On the downside, energy companies maintained their recent weakness as crude oil slumped 2.7%. Exxon Mobil Corp. lost 0.3% while Chevron Corp. fell 0.6%. For the month of May, the Dow is up 0.4% and the S&P is up 1.2%. The Nasdaq is up 2.6% in its seventh straight monthly gain, its longest such streak since 2013. It is the sixth positive month for both the Dow and the S&P 500 of the past seven.

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