Dow moves further into record territory a day after closing above 18,000 for the first time

Stocks are moving slightly higher a day after the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 18,000 for the first time.

Trading will close early Wednesday ahead of the Christmas holiday.

Traders were encouraged by the latest positive news on the U.S. economy.

The government reported before the market opened that the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits is the lowest it’s been in almost two months. That’s a good sign for the job market.

The Dow rose 43 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 18,067 as of 11:45 a.m. Eastern time.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose four points, or 0.2 per cent, to 2,086. The Nasdaq composite rose 17 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 4,783.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.29 per cent.