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At 14,296.24, the Dow pushed its record close higher on Wednesday, touching a new intraday high of 14,320.65. The markets were buoyed by better-than-expected jobs data and a contraction in new factory orders that wasn’t as sever as expected. Toward the end of the day, the House of Republicans passed a measure that will fund the federal government through the remained of the fiscal year.
At the close: DJIA: +0.30%, S&P 500: +0.11%, NASDAQ: -0.05%.
WTI crude oil (NYSEARCA:USO) fell 0.42 percent to $90.44 per barrel. Gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for April delivery, the most active contract, closed flat to settle at $1,574.90 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures for May increased 20 cents to close at $28.80. Both precious metals received support as the Bank of Korea said it added 20 metric tons of gold to its gold reserves last month. The move brings the central bank’s holdings to 104.4 tons. In the past two years, South Korea has made at least five major purchases of gold.
In a statement, the central bank explained, “The Bank of Korea’s gold buying is part of the long-term diversification of currencies and assets in foreign-exchange reserves. It is of no great importance to try to gauge if it’s profitable or not based on short-term price swings.”
ADP’s National Employment Report revealed that solid job gains were made in February; on a seasonally-adjusted basis, private-sector employers added 198,000 workers to their payrolls from January to February. The gains were not outstanding when compared to the numbers reported for the previous month — in January, job additions amounted to 215,000 — but the increase came in above what economists were predicting. The median forecast of economists polled by Bloomberg called for a gain of 170,000.
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