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Stocks drift higher ahead of the July 4th holiday

In this Friday, June 28, 2013 photo, trader John Panin, center, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. U.S. stock futures are sliding along with global markets, Wednesday, July 3, 2013, as hotspots in Europe and the Middle East overshadow what are expected to be positive economic signs at home. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stock indexes are closing slightly higher after a half-day of trading on Wall Street ahead of the July 4th holiday.

Encouraging news about the U.S. job market offset worries about a market sell-off in Portugal and an intensifying political crisis in Egypt.

U.S. markets closed at 1 p.m. Wednesday ahead of the Independence Day holiday Thursday. They will reopen Friday.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 56 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 14,988.

The Standard & Poor's 500 rose a point, or 0.08 percent, to 1,615. Technology stocks rose 0.6 percent, the most in the index.

The Nasdaq rose 10 points, or 0.3 percent, to 3,443.

Trading volume was light at 1.9 billion shares. Three stocks fell for every two that rose on the New York Stock Exchange.