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Trading On The Floor Of The NYSE As U.S. Stocks Edge Higher Before Remarks From Yellen, Long Weekend
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Dow ended above 18,000 for the first time since April on Wednesday as declines in the dollar lifted some commodity-related shares and boosted the outlook for multinationals.

The S&P 500 materials index climbed 0.6% following gains in copper and gold prices. Energy shares were lower despite a jump in oil prices.

The benchmark S&P 500 is now about 12 points shy of its all-time closing high of 2,130.82.

Helping sentiment was a weaker dollar, which tends to benefit U.S. multinationals that derive a large portion of their sales from overseas. The S&P industrials index rose 0.7%, the day's best-performing S&P index.

"The weaker dollar and strength in commodity names is certainly helping to fuel the market's strength," said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles. "Multinational companies are all benefiting and helping to drag the market higher."

The dollar fell to a five-week low against a basket of currencies as traders reduced bets of an imminent U.S. interest rate increase.

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The Dow Jones industrial average ended up 66.77 points, or 0.37%, to 18,005.05, its first close above 18,000 since April 27.

The S&P 500 gained 6.99 points, or 0.33%, to 2,119.12, while the Nasdaq Composite added 12.89 points, or 0.26%, to 4,974.64.

Read More: Warren Buffett Bought a Bushel Full of Apple Stock. Should You?

Federal Reserve officials meet next Tuesday and Wednesday, and the central bank is expected to leave interest rates unchanged. Despite surprisingly weak monthly jobs data last Friday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen boosted sentiment Monday by painting a mostly upbeat picture of the economy.

Bucking the recent trend in retail stocks, Lululemon Athletica Inc shares rose 4.9% to $71.48 after first-quarter sales beat analyst expectations.

Among the day's decliners, shares of VeriFone Systems fell 24.7% to $21.27 after lower-than-expected earnings and said it intends to reduce headcount and conduct strategic review to address underperforming businesses.

About 6.5 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, below the 6.8 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 2,034 to 981, for a 2.07-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,844 issues rose and 980 fell for a 1.88-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 53 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq recorded 106 new highs and 24 new lows.