The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq set intraday record highs on Wednesday, Jan. 3, as global markets continued to ride a bullish wave powered by synchronized growth and accelerating corporate profits.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 40 points, or 0.15%, to 24,864 as of 2 p.m. ET. Leading the index higher were International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) and General Electric Co. (GE) .

The S&P 500 was up 12 points to 2,708 as it topped 2,700 for the first time. Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq started off the new year with record closes on Tuesday, Jan. 2. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. issued a research note on Wednesday that forecast the S&P 500 will rise 7% in 2018 to 2850, with a total return of 9%.

The Nasdaq closed Tuesday above 7,000 for the first time, and was up 46 points, or 0.64%, on Wednesday. The Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) rose 0.73%.

Stocks added to gains after the Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index rose to 59.7 in December from 58.2 in November, and rose ahead of minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's Dec. 13 meeting at 2 p.m. ET. At that meeting, the Federal Reserve's rate-setting body raised interest rates a quarter point and lifted its economic growth forecast for 2018.

Intel Corp. (INTC) fell 5.7% on Wednesday following reports of a potential bug in the chipmaker's technology. Shares of rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) jumped nearly 9%.

Scana Corp. (SCG) shares soared 22.2% after reaching an agreement to merge with Dominion Energy Inc. (D) in a stock-for-stock deal valued at about $7.9 billion.

The U.S. rejected the sale of money transfer company MoneyGram International Inc. (MGI)  to Chinese billionaire Jack Ma's Ant Financial Services Group. MoneyGram shares fell 9.3%.

Tesla Inc. (TSLA)  shares dipped ahead of the electric carmaker's release of Model 3 production numbers on Thursday, Jan. 4. From Wall Street research notes to various auto blogs, it looks like Tesla could badly whiff on its Model 3 delivery goals.

Ford Motor Co. (F) said U.S. sales in December rose 0.9%, beating expectations that called for a decrease of 2%. Ford shares gained 1%. General Motors Co. (GM) said sales in December fell 3.3%, narrower than estimates of a sales drop of 5.5%. The stock gained 2.3%.

Analysts at Edmunds said the average price of a new vehicle is expected to hit the highest point in history in December. Edmunds estimated that the average transaction price of a new vehicle was $36,495 in December, which is a 3% increase from December 2016 and a 13% from December 2012. 

Allergan PLC (AGN) rose 1% after the company said in a regulatory filing that it would eliminate more than 1,000 currently filled positions and cut about 400 open positions.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Europe index, the region's broadest measure of share prices, added 0.49%, driven in part by solid gains for benchmarks in Germany.

In Asia, the dollar continued to tumble as investors swapped more cash into regional currencies in the wake of much stronger-than-expected readings for manufacturing activity in both China and its neighboring economies.

Oil prices in the U.S. rose 1.7% to $61.41 a barrel amid upbeat forecasts for growth in some of the world's most heavily industrialized economies.

General Electric and Allergan are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio.Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells the stocks? Learn more now.

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