S&P notches new record close as markets set aside coronavirus fears, focus on strong data (SPX)

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The S&P 500 index set a new record at the closing bell, as markets let coronavirus fears abate and focused instead on positive macroeconomic data out Wednesday. 

The index ended the day at 3,334.72, a new closing high. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, after surging more than 500 points intraday, closed at 483.29 points, or up 1.68%.

Boosting market sentiment was an unexpectedly strong private payroll report from ADP and Moody’s: Private payrolls increased by 291,000 in January, the best month for the gauge since May 2015, according to ADP and Moody’s data. 

Also soothing markets were reports from Chinese media of a treatment for coronavirus. The World Health Organization disputed those reports, telling The Financial Times that there “are no known effective therapeutics” for the virus. 

The Nasdaq closed up but by a smaller margin of 0.43%, its upside pared by Tesla stock, which tumbled to close down 17.18%. That’s after an eye-popping bull run as recently as Tuesday: Tesla stock was up 300% from six months ago through the end of the trading day Tuesday. 

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