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S&P 500 Closes Near Record – Tesla Surge Boosts Nasdaq

Stocks finished higher Wednesday as the tech sector came back to life following the previous session’s late-day slide.

The S&P 500 came within six points of a closing high before finishing up 46 points, or 1.4% to 3,380. The index’s previous all-time closing high of 3,386 was set on Feb. 19.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up almost 290 points, or 1.05%, to 27,976, while the Nasdaq jumped 2.13% to close at 11,012.

Apple, Microsoft and Tesla shares advanced.

Stocks rose Wednesday even though a stalemate remains in Washington on more coronavirus aid.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has called for a restart of negotiations between the Trump administration and congressional Democrats, saying it was “time for everybody to get back to the table” to discuss a fifth coronavirus aid package.

He told Fox News that the “stalemate needs to be ended. It doesn’t make any difference who says let’s get together again, but we ought to get together again.”

“The market was pretty unaffected by the lack of a stimulus bill, going up seven days in a row as it was becoming clear one was not going to happen,” said David Bahnsen, chief investment officer of Bahnsen Group.

In fact, the market’s resilience without a stimulus bill is a big part of why we don’t have one – no catalyst to act.”

U.S. and Chinese trade representatives, meanwhile, are set to discuss aspects of the phase one trade deal in the coming days.

Bloomberg reported that Beijing also will push for discussions over the forced sale of TikTok’s U.S. operations and the banning of WeChat during the meeting, which comes amid heightened political tensions between the world’s two biggest economies.

A virtual meeting likely will take place as soon as this week though a date hasn’t been finalized, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with preparations for the talks.

Tesla was up 13% to $1,554.76 on Wednesday after the electric-car maker said it would split its stock five-for-one.

Tesla said it was splitting the stock to “make stock ownership more accessible to employees and investors.”

Tesla shares have more than tripled year to date.