FILE - In this July 1, 2019, file photo trader Vincent Napolitano works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, July 3. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

US stocks on track for third record high of the week

July 03, 2019 - 10:11 am

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks moved broadly higher on a holiday-shortened day as investors put the market on track for its third straight record high close of the week.

The rally follows a slight easing of trade tensions between the U.S. and China. Both nations have agreed to refrain from new tariffs while they open a new round of negotiations. The development relieved some pressure on the market, though the trade war still looms over global economic growth.

Health care stocks led the early gains Wednesday. Health care products company Johnson & Johnson rose 1% and insurer UnitedHealth Group rose 1.3%. Investors also snapped up consumer product makers. General Mills rose 1.6% and Kellogg rose 3.2%.

Communications and internet companies were also among the biggest gainers, with strong gains from Google's parent company Alphabet and Netflix.

Cybersecurity software company Symantec surged 15%. It was doing much of the heavy lifting for the lagging technology sector on reports that it is considering a sale to chipmaker Broadcom.

The market will close early Wednesday and remain closed Thursday, making for a short week. Investors will be on the lookout for the government's closely watched monthly jobs report scheduled for Friday.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 0.3% as of 10:10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 65 points, or 0.3% to 26,852. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.3%.

FULL CHARGE: Tesla jumped 6.3% after telling investors that it delivered more electric cars in the second quarter than any three-month period in its history.

The electric car maker has been struggling to meet production promises and to consistently make money. The company delivered 95,200 vehicles during the most recent quarter. It is aiming to deliver 360,000 to 400,000 vehicles for the full year. Just to hit the low end of that target, it will have to deliver more than 200,000 cars in the final half of the year.

STIMULATING CHOICE: Christine Lagarde, a proponent of economic stimulus, is taking the helm at the European Central Bank. She is currently the head of the International Monetary Fund and will be replacing Mario Draghi.

The central bank has been trying to mitigate a slowdown in economic growth with economic stimulus measures. Lagarde is expected to maintain that position as trade disputes continue to threaten global economies.

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