Home Markets Stocks shake off an afternoon stumble to end modestly higher

Stocks shake off an afternoon stumble to end modestly higher

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The stock market recovered from an afternoon stumble Thursday and ended with some modest gains, enough to mark more record highs for the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq composite.

Investors had a fresh batch of economic data to weigh as they gauge the economic recovery, but much of the focus will be on a key employment report from the Labor Department on Friday.

Trading remains quiet as the summer holiday season comes to a close and Wall Street heads into a three-day holiday weekend. Activity is expected to pick up next week once traders are back from vacation. Typically September is one of the market’s more volatile months.

The S&P 500 rose 12.86 points, or 0.3%, to 4,536.95, topping a record set on Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 131.29 points, or 0.4%, to 35,443.82. The Nasdaq rose 21.80, or 0.1%, to 15,331.18, also setting a record.

Small-company stocks fared better than the rest of the market in a sign that investors are feeling encouraged…

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