US stocks : Dow up 0.38 pct
Investors welcomed news that a ceasefire was declared to end the flare-up in violence between Israel and the Palestinians, though the lack of a deal to release emergency aid for Greece limited the market's advance.
Investors also remained anxious about the mandatory tax increases and spending cuts that would go into effect in the new year if a deal is not reached to prevent it - known as the "fiscal cliff" - though policymakers are not expected to get back to negotiations until after Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday.
About 4.76 billion shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and the NYSE MKT, compared with year-to-date daily average volume of 6.5 billion shares. On Thursday, the U.S. stock market will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday, and on Friday, it will close early at 1 p.m. (1800 GMT).
"Usually on patriotic holidays, which I think Thanksgiving is one, we often see a rally on a light volume. So I wouldn't be surprised if we see that on Friday, if there is no major news," said J.J. Kinahan, chief derivatives strategist at TD Ameritrade in Chicago.
"So far this week, we have heard good news in terms of (the) fiscal cliff. Both sides seem to be playing nice, but we will start to see big day-to-day swings (in the market) from
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