NEW YORK, April 2 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks held gains Wednesday, propelling the S&P 500 to a fresh all-time intraday high, as investors tend to continue betting on equities after a pair of economic data.
In midday trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 18.04 points, or 0.11 percent, to 16,550.65. The S&P 500 rose 3.74 points, or 0.20 percent, to 1,889.26. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 4.49 points, or 0.11 percent, to 4,272.53.
The broader S&P 500 hit a record high of 1,890.63 points in intraday trading, a day after it rewrote its record book. Investors remained jubilant over Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's dovish comments on Monday on the need for continued " extraordinary commitment" to support the U.S. economy.
Recent economic data came out positive generally, giving investors more evidence that the world's largest economy is strengthening despite abnormally cold weather.
Private-sector employment increased by 191,000 from February to March on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to private payroll processor ADP.
The increase was slightly below analysts' expectations but was the strongest in three months, indicating that the U.S. job market is recovering from the harsh winter weather over the past two months.
Investors are still awaiting the closely-watched U.S. non-farm payroll report for March to be released by the Labor Department Friday. Analysts expected the unemployment rate of the world's largest economy to edge down to 6.6 percent in March from 6.7 percent the previous month.
Moreover, U.S. factory orders rose 1.6 percent in February, said the Commerce Department, beating market expectations.
The Institute for Supply Management said on Tuesday that economic activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector expanded in March for the 10th consecutive month, with the March purchasing managers index (PMI) registering 53.7, up from February's reading of 53.2.