Some highlights from the day's business news:
Dow climbs again in 3-day winning streak
U.S. stocks climbed Wednesday, with the Dow posting a fresh two-year high for the third day in a row, as investors started to position themselves for the new year.
"The past year was pretty good and it seems to me that in the new part of the new year, you're kind of repositioning your portfolio in some way that suits your temperament," said Peter Tuz, president at Chase Investment Counsel of Charlottesville, Virginia.
At the closing bell, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 32 points, or 0.3%, to a new two-year high of 11,723. The Dow keeps breaking new two-year highs as it approaches 11,800.
Of the Dow's 30 components, 18 rose, with financials American Express, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase leading the way. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 added 6 points, or 0.5%; and the Nasdaq gained 21 points, or 0.8%.
Treasury prices fall on employment reports
Treasury prices dropped Wednesday after two employment reports sparked hopes that stagnant unemployment might finally be easing.
Before the opening bell, outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas reported that planned job cuts fell 59% to 530,000 in 2010, the lowest level in 13 years.
Meanwhile, private sector payrolls soared by 297,000 in December, according to a separate report from payroll processor ADP. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com were expecting the report to show that payrolls increase by
100,000 last month, compared to November's 93,000 rise.
Those reports sent Treasury prices lower, and yields higher, as investors fled safe-haven assets for riskier investments. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.
The yield on the benchmark U.S. Treasury 10-year note increased to 3.47% after closing at 3.33% on Tuesday. The yield on the 30-year bond climbed to 4.54%, while the two-year note's yield ticked up to 0.71%. The yield on the five-year note rose slightly to 2.14%.
CNNMoney.com reporters Annalyn Censky and Charles Riley contributed to this report.