Wall Street ended a holiday-shortened week with even more records as small gains made a big impact.
Since Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen 1.5%, the S&P 500 has gained 1.4%, and the Nasdaq has climbed 1.4%. The Dow and S&P 500 have closed at records every day this week, while the Nasdaq has scored three of the four days. The Dow topped 19,000 for the first time ever earlier in the week.
Growing confidence over a December rate hike kept investors bullish this week. Minutes from the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee's meeting in November, released on Wednesday afternoon, confirmed expectations for an interest rate hike in December. The Federal Reserve noted that inflation has been rising and that the labor market has improved.
"Most participants expressed a view that it could well become appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate relatively soon," the Fed minutes said.
Fed members have recently taken a hawkish turn as labor market strength has held and inflation has moved toward the Fed's 2% target. Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer touted recent improvements in the U.S. economy earlier in the week.
"Notwithstanding a number of shocks over the past year, the U.S. economy is performing reasonably well," Fischer said in prepared comments to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on Monday. "After running at a subdued pace during the first half of the year, gross domestic product growth has picked up in the most recent data, and inflation has been firming toward the Federal Open Market Committee's 2% target."