STOCKS INCH HIGHER: Here’s what you need to know

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Susana Vera/Reuters

Stocks closed little changed on Thursday ahead of the first set of earnings from the big Wall Street banks on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a new high.

Here’s the scoreboard:

    Dow: 21,553.09, +20.95, (0.10%) S&P 500: 2,447.83, +4.58, (0.19%) Nasdaq: 6,274.44, +13.27, (0.21%)

Snap rallied 3% after getting an upgrade to “Buy” from Stifel. “Snap is what investors have long wanted (and many still want) Twitter to be; a thriving communications platform for hundreds of millions of high-value consumers” that can drive monetization, said Scott Devitt, an analyst. Senate Republican leadership released the updated version of its healthcare bill. Some of Obamacare’s taxes are kept, and there’s increased funding for the opiod crisis. But almost immediately, two Republican senators came out against a procedural vote that would get the bill to the floor of the Senate, meaning Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and GOP leaders cannot afford to lose another vote. The Trump administration brands its economic plan: ‘MAGAnomics.’ Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, outlined it in a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Thursday. The administration’s core plan, Mulvaney wrote, is to get the US back to 3% economic growth. It would be “quite challenging” to reach the 3% growth target set by President Donald Trump, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said at a Senate hearing. Yellen appeared before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs as part of her semiannual Humphrey-Hawkins testimony. Initial jobless claims fell less than expected last week. First-time filings for unemployment insurance dipped by 3,000 to 247,000.

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