Markets did well today:
▲ Dow: +0.38 percent
▲ Nasdaq: +0.34 percent
▲ S&P: +0.23 percent
▲ Gold: +0.10 percent to $1,729.23 an ounce
▲Silver: +0.58 percent to settle at $32.99
▲ Oil: +0.53 percent
Markets were up because:
The stock market crept higher Wednesday ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Major market indexes got a slight lift after news broke of a cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
The truce was announced by Egypt's foreign minister and confirmed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. A week of fighting has killed more than 140 Palestinians and five Israelis.
The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 48.38 points to 12,836.89. Three of the most expensive stocks in the average - Boeing, IBM and United Technologies - each rose more than 60 cents. Higher-priced stocks in the Dow carry more weight.
The Labor Department said that first-time applications for unemployment benefits fell by 41,000 last week to 410,000.
In other Wednesday trading, the Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 3.22 points to 1,391.03. Utilities fell the most, while telecommunication companies rose the most, but no category moved more than 0.6 percent.
The Nasdaq composite index rose 9.87 points to 2,926.55. In the bond market, the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note inched up to 1.68 percent.
The quiet trading followed a largely uneventful Tuesday. The Dow dropped as much as 94 points after a warning from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke about federal budget talks, then recovered to end with just a seven-point loss.
The stock market will be closed Thursday for Thanksgiving and will close early Friday. Congress has the week off and will take up budget negotiations after its members return from the break next week.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.