Stocks close with gains, led by Dow as investors look for rate insight

U.S. stocks were higher on Wednesday, with the Dow leading gains and the S&P 500 setting a closing record, paced drugmaker Merck, while investors looked towards the next piece of inflation data and Federal Reserve commentary for signals on the rate path.

Merck & Co (MRK.N), opens new tab advanced 4.96% as the best performer on the Dow after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its therapy for adults suffering from a rare lung condition.

The blue-chip Dow now sits less than 1% away from breaking the 40,000 level for the first time.

Gains on the tech-heavy Nasdaq were held in check, however, by 2.5% decline in AI giant Nvidia (NVDA.O), opens new tab, which lost ground for a second straight session. Shares were still up more than 80% on the year, however.


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