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Stocks Add to Gains After Yellen, With Dow and S&P 500 at Highest Levels This Year

Stock indexes in the US added to gains a day after dovish comments by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen that seemed to push back rate-hike expectations and spurred investors to lift the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 to their highest levels so far this year. Of the 30 stocks on the Dow, just nine were posting losses near the close Wednesday, as Visa ( V ) led with a more than 2% increase and 3M ( MMM ) added 1.6% after its price target was raised at UBS.

All of the S&P 500's sectors, apart from utilities, were poised for gains. Oil prices fluctuated, with US benchmark West Texas Intermediate futures ending the session nearly unchanged after data showed that US crude inventories rose, albeit less than projected. In economic data, Automated Data Processing reporting a 200,000 increase in private payrolls in March, trailing estimates looking for a 203,000 gain. February hiring also was revised downward to 205,000 new workers from the 214,000 originally reported.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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