Dow Jones industrial average hits new record high

Dow Jones industrial average sets new record high

The Dow Jones industrial average hit a record high Wednesday as investors wagered that the economy will pick up steam in the second half of the year.

The blue-chip indicator rose for the third time this week, with Wednesday's 45-point gain being just enough to push the Dow to a fresh record at 16,580.84. The previous high was 16,576.66 on Dec. 31.

Other indexes also rallied, with the Standard & Poor's 500 index just shy of its own record.

The gains came for the same reason they have in the past: Investors were willing to look past current events in the hope that the economy will shine later in the year.

The day started inauspiciously with news that gross domestic product ticked up at an anemic annual rate of 0.1% in the first quarter.

But investors were willing to overlook that on the notion that severe winter weather held back what otherwise would have been a respectable showing.

Stocks gained after the Federal Reserve announced that it will continue trimming its bond purchases, also in the belief that better economic days lie ahead.

The Dow rose 45.47 points, or 0.3%. It's now up .03% this year.

The S&P rose 5.62 points, or 0.3%, to 1,883.95. It's up 1.9% this year.

Follow Walter Hamilton on Twitter @LATwalter

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