NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The S&P 500 effortlessly bagged a record close on Wednesday with trading volumes near 12-month lows as investors clocked out early for the Thanksgiving break amid improving sentiment about the U.S. economic recovery. Volume was more than 50% lower than Tuesday's session with about 360 million shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, according to Bloomberg data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.07%, also at a record close, while the S&P 500 climbed 0.28%, a new all-time high at 2,072.77. The Nasdaq spiked to a 14-year high, up 0.61%.
Markets largely discounted a Labor Department report that weekly jobless claims rose above 300,000 for the first time since September. The increase in jobless claims, higher than economists' estimates, was offset by signs of indications that consumers are poised for a breakout season of holiday shopping.
"That was a little surprising, but the four-week average is still below [300,000]," said Tom Sudyka, portfolio manager of LK Balanced Fund, in an investor conference call. "Week-to-week it's kind of hard to track on that but as long as the average stays below that, I think we're probably OK. It's so volatile and gets revised a lot."
Consumer sentiment fell slightly from preliminary readings but more importantly, remained at a seven-year high. Personal income in October gained 0.2%, while consumer spending climbed 0.2%. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected consumer spending to have increased 0.3% with personal income up 0.4%.