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Dow Closes at Record in Mixed Trading, Nasdaq Slumps

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes at a record high in mixed trading.

Stocks ended mixed Wednesday but the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a record amid solid indications of economic recovery.

The Dow, which also set an intraday record, finished up 97 points, or 0.29%, at 34,230. The S&P 500 ticked up 0.07% while the Nasdaq lost 0.37%.

Private employers in the U.S. added 742,000 jobs in April, according to payroll processing company ADP. It was the most in seven months.

The jobs gains came in below forecasts but they are a sign of an improving U.S. labor market as the economy reopens. The official jobs report from the Labor Department will be released Friday.

"While the ADP read may have come in lower than expectations, keep in mind this is the highest number we’ve seen since the beginning of the fall," said Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E-Trade. "So we’re definitely moving in the right direction." 

"[This] is just the beginning of the labor market data we’re anticipating this week, so it remains to be seen how the market will react. And maybe more importantly how the (Federal Reserve) will interpret the jobs data this week," he added.

Stocks had briefly turned lower after data showed a measure of services activity in the U.S. had unexpectedly fallen in April.

Shares of General Motors  (GM) - Get General Motors Company Report jumped 4.1% on Wednesday after the automaker reported stronger-than-expected first-quarter earnings and confirmed full-year profit guidance even as chip shortages bloated its overall inventory and clipped free cash flow. 

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The Nasdaq sank 1.88% on Tuesday with shares of tech giants selling off as investors rotated into higher-yielding value stocks and sectors poised to benefit from the economy's recovery. The interest-rate-sensitive Nasdaq 100 had its worst day since March.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stoked worries about inflation after saying interest rates "will have to rise a little bit" to keep the U.S. economy from overheating as a result of the trillions in spending passed and proposed under President Joe Biden.

She later walked back her comments, telling The Wall Street Journal that “I don’t think there’s going to be an inflationary problem, but if there is, the Fed can be counted on to address it." Yellen is the former chair of the Federal Reserve.

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Commodities, meanwhile, reached their highest levels in almost a decade, according to Bloomberg, as demand has increased amid signs of recovery from the pandemic. Oil prices in the U.S. slipped below $66 a barrel.

Dogecoin, the digital currency with a dog as its logo that began as a joke, was rising again Wednesday, finishing up 4.9% to 59.81 cents, according to CoinDesk.

The cryptocurrency set an all time-high of 69.65 cents over the past 24 hours. Dogecoin has soared 14,222% year to date.

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