Dow hits 3rd intraday high, investors look to payrolls
The Dow and the S&P 500 were both up for their fifth straight days as investors looked for opportunities to buy into the recent rally. However, caution ahead of the jobs report curbed gains and kept the S&P more than 1 percent below its record close.
"Today's move is pretty tranquil. No one is going to take big positions ahead of tomorrow's number, but the market is definitely in an uptrend," said Paul Zemsky, the New York-based head of asset allocation at ING Investment Management.
Growth-oriented sectors led the day's gains. The S&P financial index added 0.5 percent and hit an intraday high. Shares of Dow component Bank of America rose 2.3 percent to $12.19.
A strengthening economy and loose monetary policy by central banks around the world have pushed U.S. stocks higher this year. Investors have kept buying into the market since Tuesday's rally, but gains have been more subdued.
Worries remain as Washington debates the path of fiscal policy, the euro zone is not out of its crisis, and U.S. economic growth remains anemic.
However, the latest economic data was encouraging, as the number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week to a seasonally adjusted 340,000. It was the second straight week of declines.
Investors will stay focused on the labor market ahead of Friday's
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