Dow inches toward 20,000

New York Stock Exchange
FILE - This Oct. 4, 2014, file photo, shows the facade of the New York Stock Exchange. Global markets meandered Thursday, Dec. 24, 2015, despite earlier gains in Asia and as the surge in oil prices faded in light Christmas Eve trading. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

TOKYO (AP) – It’s been a quiet trading in Asia on Wednesday mirroring Tuesday’s trading on Wall Street as the Dow Jones industrial average inched closer to 20,000.

The Dow gained 11 points, or 0.1 percent, to 19,945. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 5 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,268. The Nasdaq composite climbed 24 points, or 0.5 percent, to 5,487.

The three major U.S. indexes have posted solid gains in 2016, led by the Dow, which is up 14.5 percent. The S&P 500 is on track for an 11 percent gain, while the Nasdaq is headed for a 9.6 percent gain. Small-company stocks are up even more. The Russell 2000 is up 21 percent so far this year. Japan’s Nikkei 225 is just below where it began the year.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude slipped in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange Wednesday. It rose 88 cents to close at $53.90 a barrel in New York on Tuesday.

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