The benchmark S&P 500 posted a record closing high on Wednesday as US stocks rallied for a third straight day on encouraging US economic data and waning fears of the financial fallout from the corona virus in China. The Nasdaq also notched a record close but steep losses in Tesla shares limited the index’s advance.

The ADP National Employment Report showed private payrolls jumped by 291,000 jobs in January, the most since May 2015, while a separate report showed US services sector activity picked up last month, suggesting the economy could continue to grow moderately this year even as consumer spending slows. The S&P 500 has more than recovered from last week’s steep losses after China boosted liquidity to limit the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 483.22 points, or 1.68 per cent, to 29,290.85, the S&P 500 gained 37.1 points, or 1.13 per cent, to 3334.69 and the Nasdaq Composite added 40.71 points, or 0.43 per cent, to 9508.68. Energy was the best-performing S&P 500 sector, jumping 3.8 per cent along with a rise in crude prices.

The healthcare sector climbed 2.0 per cent, led by health insurers as well as by a 17.5 per cent jump in shares of Biogen after the biotech company won a patent ruling on a multiple sclerosis drug. Shares of Tesla cooled off after a huge six-day rally, dropping 17.2 per cent after a senior executive warned that the coronavirus outbreak in China would delay deliveries of Model 3 cars made at its Shanghai plant.


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