Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 closed at record highs on Wednesday.
The Dow rose 92.10 points, or three-tenths of a percentage point, to 27783.59. The S&P 500 moved up 2.20 points, less than one-tenth of a percentage point. But since those indexes were already at record highs, even the small gains were enough to set new records.
The Nasdaq Composite fell 3.99, or less than one-tenth of a percentage point.
The uptick in stocks came as investors digested two important hearings on Capitol Hill and reports that trade talks with China had hit a snag.
A House panel heard the first public testimony from witnesses in the Democrats’ impeach inquiry. Many of President Donald Trump’s supporters thought the hearing went poorly for the president’s accusers. Privately, many Democrats agree. Certainly, nothing occurred that would make investors think the president would be removed from office.
Fed chair Jerome Powell testified to the Joint Economic Committee, expressing optimism about the economy and telling lawmakers that interest rates were on hold unless something big changed. The Fed has been trying to communicate a message of certainty and stability to counter uncertainty created by impeachment, trade, and the coming election year.
The major indexes began the day with declines from the previous day but climbed back as the two hearings proceeded, suggesting investors were not alarmed by either.
Stocks did retreat from the highs of the day after the Wall Street Journal reported that trade talks hit a snag over Chinese purchases of U.S. farm goods. The S&P briefly turned negative before bouncing back.