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U.S. stocks edge upward; Dow hits record high

Dow closes at 35th record high Monday, but U.S. stocks are expected to flatline while investors wait for the Fed to cut back on monetary policy.
Posted By Sonali Basak   |   Nov. 11, 2013 at 4:37 PM   |   Comments

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(UPI) -- The Dow closed at its 35th record high Monday after wavering throughout the day. Still, investors were cautious as they speculated on the Federal Reserve's monetary policy.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 21 points, or 0.14 percent to 15,783.10 after opening slightly lower Monday. Bond traders had the day off for Veteran's day, and no economic reports were issued by the government. Investors absorbed international reports over the weekend, including China's optimistic economic performance.

Besides the holiday, investors are waiting to hear from the Federal Reserve to see if policy will begin to ease this year. Janet Yellen, President Obama's nominee to replace Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve chairman, will testify before Congress Thursday at her confirmation hearing, and investors will be watching intently for clues.

While Dow surged Friday after a better-than-expected jobs report, investors remained cautious. Some economists predicted the strong report might be evidence for the Fed to scale back on it's bond-buying program in December. Other economists say it might not be enough evidence of economic rebound, and predicted the Fed's policy to continue into March.

Uncertainty surrounding the Fed's policy might indicate a flatlining of U.S. stocks.

But investors eyed a number of tech and retail stocks. Twitter, which went public last week, was down and has fallen as low as $39.40 since its first day of trading. It edged back up to $42.99 at market close Monday. Sony is set to release a new PlayStation Friday and Microsoft releases a new Xbox next week, predicting enhanced confidence in tech.

The Nasdaq Composite Index, trading most tech stocks, was up one half a point to 3,919. It is up 30 percent for the year. The S&P 500 rose one point at 1,771, and is up 20 percent for the year.

Retail stocks also edged upward with buy ratings from analysts. A number of earnings will be released later in the week, including Wal-Mart Inc., Macy's Inc. and Nordstrom Inc. Best Buy Inc. and Home Depot Inc. releases earnings next week. Amazon shares also inched upward after releasing news of Sunday deliveries with the United States Postal Service.

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