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Stocks drift higher in quiet trading; S&P 500 holds on to the 2,000-point level; Express gains

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U.S. stock indexes edged higher in midday trading Wednesday, drifting slightly from a record high set the day before.

Trading was light ahead of the Labor Day holiday as investors sifted through company earnings and deal news.

Express rose 12 per cent after the clothing retailer's results beat financial analysts' expectations. Tiffany rose 1 per cent after its latest quarterly income also exceeded forecasts.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index edged up half a point to 2,000 as of noon Eastern time Wednesday. It closed above 2,000 points for the first time the day before.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 12 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 17,119. The Nasdaq rose two points, or 0.1 per cent, to 4,572.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.37 per cent.

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