Stock market inches to record

New York

The U.S. stock market eked out another record close on Wednesday ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday as investors assessed the latest reports on the economy and some corporate earnings.

Orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rose in October, but a key category that tracks business investment plans declined sharply for a second straight month. Another report showed U.S. consumers spent modestly more in October, a slight improvement after no gain at all in the previous month.

The reports paint a picture of a “good, but not great” economy, said Scott Keifer, global investment specialist at JPMorgan Private Bank. Slow growth is keeping inflation low and that’s holding down interest rates. The result is an environment in which stocks can prosper.

“There seems to be a feeling that the markets are going to continue to drift higher as we get to the end of the year,” said Keifer, who is based in Orange County, Calif.

The Standard Poor’s 500 index rose 5.80 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,072.83. The index has now closed at an all-time high on 47 occasions this year.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 12.81 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,827.75. The Nasdaq composite climbed 29.07 points, or 0.6 percent, to 4,787.32.

Semiconductor stocks were among the gainers on Wednesday after Analog Devices reported income and revenue that exceeded Wall Street’s forecasts. The company said it expects revenue growth of 21 percent in its first fiscal quarter. The stock jumped $2.85, or 5.5 percent, to $54.56, leading gains for semiconductor stocks in the SP 500, which rose 2.3 percent.

Stocks have rebounded strongly from a slump that lasted from mid-September to mid-October. The SP 500 has surged 11.3 percent since then. The gains have slowed this week, however, ahead of the holiday.

“This seems to be a classic holiday plateau,” said Kristina Hooper, head of US Capital Markets Research Strategy for Allianz Global Investors. “Probably, we are not going to get any focus until we come back on Monday.”

The U.S. stock market will be closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday. It will also close early, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time, on Friday.

Among individual stocks, Deere was among the losers.

The company’s fourth-quarter results were stronger than Wall Street expected, but the company said its sales of farm equipment and its income will keep falling in the company’s new fiscal year. Deere’s stock slid 80 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $86.99.

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