The Dow industrials added 113 points, or 0.4%, to 26887 shortly after the opening bell, coming off a fourth consecutive session of gains and an all-time high a day earlier. The S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite were both up 0.4%.
Stocks have gotten a boost this week after the U.S. and Canada reached a compromise on trade policy, leading some investors to anticipate further trade deals ahead with China. Despite worries that tariffs could slow the global economy, steady U.S. growth and earnings figures have boosted stock indexes throughout the year.
A number of Federal Reserve officials have delivered upbeat comments about the U.S. economy this week, reinforcing the view that inflation remains steady but not so strong that the central bank needs to hasten its pace of interest-rate increases. Some investors expect that backdrop to continue lifting stocks later in the year. “The U.S. economy is firing on all cylinders,” Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said Wednesday during a lecture in London.
Analysts were looking ahead to Friday’s jobs report for the latest update on U.S. hiring and wage growth. Wednesday data showed the U.S. private sector added 230,000 jobs in September, more than economists were expecting, with midsize businesses and the service sector continuing to dominate those gains.
Investors were also debating whether Amazon.com ’s recent decision to increase its minimum wage to $15 next month could cause labor-cost pressure at other companies. Still, many analysts say inflation increases should remain gradual moving forward, barring an unexpected trade setback or spike in oil prices.