The Dow Jones Industrial Average cast a positive vote in reaction to the midterm election results, as investors weighed the new Republican majority in the Senate and fresh data on the U.S. economy.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.53 percent to 17,475.60 in Wednesday's morning trading. The slight jump was enough to push the Dow to a record intraday high.
The energy sector, one of the few sectors in the S&P 500 in negative territory for the year, rallied in early trading on hopes for new legislative reforms on crude and natural gas export laws that could impact trade agreements.
Investors were also digesting data that painted a mixed picture of the U.S. economy. Private sector employers added 230,000 jobs in October, the largest gain since June, according to the ADP National Employment report. Meanwhile, separate data revealed the U.S. service sector continued to expand in October, but the pace of growth was slower than the previous month.
The Institute of Supply Management’s nonmanufacturing PMI slowed to 57.1 last month from 58.6 in September. Economists had forecast a reading of 58, according to Reuters data.
The ADP report comes ahead of Friday’s highly anticipated October jobs report, which will cast more light on the health of the U.S. economy and on the labor front. Economists expect U.S. employers will add 235,000 jobs in October, a 13,000 decline from September. The unemployment rate is forecast to remain unchanged at 5.9 percent.
"The upcoming job report will unveil another positive month of hiring. In fact, fewer 'fear factors' are likely to show up as corporate America reverses its trend and begins to hire full-time employees instead of part-time workers," Peter Cardillo, chief economist at Rockwell Global Capital, said in a note.
As of noon, the S&P 500 index, which gauges share prices of the largest 500 publicly traded corporations in the U.S., added 8 points, or 0.38 percent, at 2,019.83; the Nasdaq Composite climbed 2 points, or 0.05 percent, at 4,626.11.