© Reuters. A trader works at the New York Stock Exchange

(Reuters) – U.S. stocks kicked off the first trading day of the year just below record levels on Thursday as fresh stimulus from Beijing to prop up its slowing economy added to the optimism over easing trade tensions and an improving global outlook.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average () rose 100.53 points, or 0.35%, at the open to 28,638.97. The S&P 500 () opened higher by 13.89 points, or 0.43%, at 3,244.67. The Nasdaq Composite () gained 66.86 points, or 0.75%, to 9,039.46 at the opening bell.

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