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Dow, S&P closes at another record high; market awaits U.S. payroll report

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This sounds like a broken record, but the Dow and the S&P 500 ended at a new record on Thursday, according to Reuters, after the European Central Bank (ECB) cut rates to record lows and the ECB promised to fight against deflation. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 98.58 points or 0.59 percent, to 16,836.11, the S&P 500 gained 12.58 points or 0.65 percent, to 1,940.46 and the Nasdaq Composite added 44.59 points or 1.05 percent, to 4,296.23.

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Reuters pointed out that with "Thursday's advance, the S&P has risen in nine of the past 11 sessions, up 3.6 percent over that period, and ended at a record high five times in the past six sessions."

This is a continuation of the "Obama Stock Market," as the Dow and the S&P 500 have continued on its meteoric rise. On President Obama's first inauguration day on Jan. 20, 2009, the DJIA was sitting at 7,949.09. It then bottomed on March 9, 2009 at 6,547.05, which at the time was its lowest level since 1997.

The market could keep its upward spiral today, as investors are now await Friday's U.S. payrolls report for May from the Department of Labor's Bureau of Statistics. There is no doubt that once again job growth will be positive, but the question remains just how positive. Some are expecting slowed job growth for May and for the unemployment rate ticked up.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose slightly last week, but the trend there has been down, hovering around the 300,000 per week on jobless claims. "The number of data we got this week so far on the labor market have not provided a clear direction for tomorrow's numbers," said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives with the Schwab Center for Financial Research in Austin. "So I wouldn't be surprised if the market sold on the (payrolls) news tomorrow, but it's likely to just be a knee-jerk reaction."

Aside from the ECB news, there was other market news that impacted the continuing rally. Amazon.com Inc. is teasing with a next big thing on June 18, an expected "launch event" in Seattle to be hosted by CEO Jeff Bezos. That stock jumped 5.5 percent to $323.57.

Sprint has agreed to pay about $40 per share to buy T-Mobile US. Rite Aid shares slid 7.4 percent to $7.87 after it estimated first-quarter profit much below expectations. Ciena Corp shares jumped 18.4 percent to $22.48 after the company posted earnings that beat expectations and gave a revenue outlook above forecasts.

Also, on Wednesday, UnitedHealth announced a massive 34% dividend increase. The new dividend is payable on June 25th with an ex-dividend date of June 12. The new annual dividend of $1.50/share gives the stock a current yield of almost 1.90%, up from the 1.67% in 2012 when the stock was added to the Dow 30, according to Seeking Alpha.

But most important this morning, the payroll report which will be released 8:30 EST.

Reuters - Dow, S&P close at new records; payrolls in focus

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