(RTTNews) - Stocks moved mostly higher during trading on Wednesday, with the Dow showing a particularly strong upward move on the day. The Dow jumped to its best closing level in nearly two months, while the Nasdaq reached another new record closing high.
The Dow reached a new high for the session in the final minutes of trading before closing up 373.05 points or 1.4 percent at 27,201.52. The Nasdaq climbed 57.23 points or 0.5 percent to 10,998.40 and the S&P 500 advanced 21.26 points or 0.6 percent to a five-month closing high of 3,327.77.
The notable advance by the Dow was partly due to a sharp increase by shares of Disney (DIS), with the entertainment giant spiking by 8.9 percent.
After the close of trading on Tuesday, Disney reported an unexpected adjusted fiscal third quarter profit despite weaker than expected revenues.
The continued strength in the broader markets reflected optimism that lawmakers will eventually reach an agreement on a new coronavirus relief bill.
Democratic leaders said they continue to make progress toward an agreement after meeting with Trump administration officials on Tuesday.
"We're making progress," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. "We really went down issue by issue by issue, slogging through them,"
"They made some concessions, which we appreciated. We made some concessions, which they appreciated," he added. "We're still far away on a lot of the important issues, but we're continuing to go at it."
The comments from Schumer came after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., indicated he would support any agreement between Democrats and the White House.
Adding to the positive sentiment, a report from the Institute for Supply Management showed an unexpected acceleration in the pace of growth in service sector activity in the month of July.
The ISM said its non-manufacturing index inched up to 58.1 in July after spiking to 57.1 in June, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in service sector activity. Economists had expected the index to drop to 55.0.
Meanwhile, traders largely shrugged off a report from payroll processor ADP showing a substantial slowdown in private sector job growth in the month of July.
ADP said private sector employment rose by 167,000 jobs in July after soaring by an upwardly revised 4.314 million jobs in June.
Economists had expected employment to surge up by another 1.5 million jobs compared to the 2.369 million job spike originally reported for the previous month.
Airline stocks moved sharply higher late in the session amid news sixteen Republican Senators have expressed support for providing another $25 billion in federal aid to protect airline industry jobs.
Reflecting the late-day strength that emerged in the airline sector, the NYSE Arca Airline Index surged up by 3.4 percent.
Substantial strength was also visible among oil service stocks, as reflected by the 3.7 percent spike by the Philadelphia Oil Service Index. The index ended the session at a nearly two-month closing high.
The rally by oil service stocks came as the price of crude oil for September delivery climbed $0.49 to $42.19 a barrel following the release of a report showing a much bigger than expected weekly drop in crude oil inventories.
Steel stocks also saw considerable strength on the day, driving the NYSE Arca Steel Index up by 3.1 percent to its best closing level in nearly two months.
Natural gas, financial, and chemical stocks also turned in strong performances, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.3 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index edged up by 0.2 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index jumped by 1.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index advanced by 0.9 percent and the German DAX Index rose by 0.5 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries gave back ground after ending the previous session notably higher. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, rose by 2.8 basis points to 0.543 percent.
A report on weekly jobless claims may attract attention on Thursday, although trading activity may be somewhat subdued ahead of the Labor Department's ore closely watched monthly jobs report on Friday.
On the earnings front, Adtran (ADTN), Etsy (ETSY), Hostess Brands (TWNK), Marathon Oil (MRO), MetLife (MET), Rent-A-Center (RCII) and Western Digital (WDC) are among the companies releasing their quarterly results after the close of today's trading.
Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY), Hilton (HLT), Kontoor Brands (KTB), Pappa John's (PZZA), and ViacomCBS (VIAC) are also among the companies due to report their results before the start of trading on Thursday.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.