Dow hits another record as stocks close higher

E-mini NASDAQ-100 Index

The S&P 500 rose 11.44 points, or 0.47%, to 2459.27.

Banks, which benefit from higher interest rates and are scheduled to report quarterly earnings on Friday, fared less well. Target added it expects second-quarter earnings to come in above the high end of the forecast.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told a Senate panel on Thursday that it would be "quite challenging" for United States growth to reach a three-per cent target set by President Donald Trump. Shares of all three banks rose Thursday.

The Russell 2000 is up 12.98 points, or 0.9 percent. The Nasdaq posted its high of the day just ahead of Yellen's testimony.

British shares underperformed, with AstraZeneca weighing on the healthcare sector and BP and Royal Dutch Shell tracking crude prices lower.

Trader Peter Tuchman wears a "Dow 21,000" hat as he works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, March 1, 2017.

USA stocks opened higher on Wednesday, after Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, in prepared congressional testimony, said interest rate increases would be gradual and that they wouldn't need to rise much further.

The Dow is up 223.40 points, or 1 percent. The Nasdaq 38.03 points, or 0.61%, to 6312.47-the largest one-week point and percentage again since early December.

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