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Dow closes just points away from 40,000 as US markets rally to new records

By Nicole Goodkind, CNN

New York (CNN) — Thursday was a pretty good day for Wall Street — the Dow Jones Industrial Average is closing in on the 40,000 threshold for the first time in its 128-year history as markets rallied to new highs.

The Federal Reserve sent stocks soaring on Wednesday after officials kept interest rates unchanged and maintained their forecast for three rate cuts this year. All three major indexes ended the day at new highs and the S&P 500 crossed the key 5,200 level for the first time.

That record-setting boom continued when all three indexes hit new highs once again at the close of Thursday’s session.

The blue-chip Dow gained 269 points, or 0.7% to set a new record at 39,781.5. The S&P 500 was up 0.3%, reaching an all-time high of 5,241.53, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq grew 0.2% also breaking its record to reach 16,401.84.

European and Asian stocks also climbed as the party went global. Switzerland’s central bank became the first from a wealthy, advanced economy to cut its interest rate on Thursday and the Bank of England kept its rate unchanged.

Traders in the US are now expecting a nearly 74% chance that the Fed begins cutting rates in June, according to CME Group’s FedWatch tool. That’s up from a 59% forecast last week.

It’s was a busy day for investors, and Reddit added to the clamor as the popular online forum made its trading debut on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker ‘RDDT’. The company priced its initial public offering at $34 a share on Wednesday. That gives Reddit a value of about $6.5 billion.

Shares started trading at $47 on Thursday afternoon and reached a high of $57.80, up 70% from its initial price offering of $34. At its peak, shares of the stock had a market cap Thursday of about $10.9 billion.

RDDT ended the day up more than 48%.

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