Stocks End Higher Ahead of Holiday

U. S. stocks rose in a volatile half-day session on Wednesday as traders squared positions before the holiday and Friday’s job market data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 56.14 points, or 0.38%, to close at 14,988.55. The S&P
500 advanced 1.33 points, or 0.08%, to finish at 1,615.41. The Nasdaq Composite finished up 10.27 points, or 0.30%, at 3,443.67.

With interest rates climbing, applications to refinance home loans are dropping to the lowest level since July 2011,  according to a gauge of refinancing applications released Wednesday.

Businesses added a better-than-expected 188,000 jobs in June, payroll processor ADP said Wednesday,as the labor market continued to largely shrug off substantial federal budget cuts and tax increases.

Oil futures rose past $101 a barrel Wednesday, as concerns about the Middle East oil trade intensified in the wake of  political protests in Egypt and after a U.S. report showed a much bigger-than-expected drop in last week’s crude supplies. Crude for August delivery traded at $101.86 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up $2.26, or 2.3%.

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