Dow ends at record high as investors focus on vaccine roll-out

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U.S. equity markets booked modest gains on Wednesday, with investors buying energy and materials stocks in the second-to-last day of 2020 for Wall Street. The modest gains were sufficient to help the Dow Jones Industrial Average rise 0.2%, or about 73 points, to a new closing record at around 30,410 (based on preliminary levels], while the S&P 500 gained 0.1% to reach 3,732 and the Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.2% to close at 12,870. Trading in the final days of a virus-stricken 2020 has been mostly upward, propelled in large part by optimism surrounding the rollout of coronavirus vaccines and the passage of the new $900 billion fiscal stimulus package, which have helped buoy sentiment.
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