United States stocks close higher as banks climb

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United States stocks looked set for a slightly weaker open on Wednesday as investors took a breather after the main indices notched record closing highs in the previous session.

The S&P 500, Dow Jones industrials and Nasdaq Composite clocked record closes, with investors drawn to riskier assets as concerns about U.S. tensions with North Korea eased and the financial impact from Hurricane Irma appeared less severe than was feared last week.

In afternoon trading, the Dow and the Nasdaq were both up 1.1% while the S&P 500 gained 1%.

Nordstrom rose 6 per cent following a report on business network CNBC that the department store chain was in talks with a private equity firm on financing to go private.

But financial and technology stocks weighed on markets.

The gains came on the heels of a solid rally Monday after Hurricane Irma caused less damage in Florida than feared, and as anxiety about North Korea's nuclear program diminished.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose rose 39.32 points, or 0.18 percent, to 22,158.18 The S&P 500 edged upgained 1.89 points, or 0.08 percent, to 2,498.37, and the Nasdaq Composite added 5.91 points, or 0.09 percent, to 6,460.19.

"A lot of it is the realization that the latest hurricane wasn't as devastating in the U.S.as people feared", said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Asset Management in NY. Apple's release date of 3 November was later than some investors had expected.

The S&P 500 is up 35.05 points, or 1.4 percent.

Winners and Losers: Bank stocks were up with higher bond yields; shares of Bank of America climbed 2.53 percent and Wells Fargo jumped 1.80 percent.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.76-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.60-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The TSX on the Toronto exchange shed 5.65 at 15,149.

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