After Market: Dow, S&P Hit New Highs; an Early Christmas Present for Macy's

More records fell on Wall Street Wednesday even as investors played a waiting game ahead of big happenings on Capitol Hill on Friday.

There's been little market-moving news so far this week, so most of the focus has turned to Janet Yellin, the vice-chairman of the Federal Reserve, who's been nominated by President Obama to succeed Ben Bernanke as head of the U.S. central bank. Her confirmation hearing in the Senate begins Friday morning. She's likely to win confirmation, though only after some tough questions about her views on continuing the Fed's bond-buying economic stimulus program.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 71 points to 15,821, and the S&P 500 (^GPSC) gained 14 to close at 1,782 -- both new record highs -- while the Nasdaq (^IXIC) rallied 45 points to end at 3,965.

T%VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%he Macy's Day Thanksgiving Parade is still two weeks away, but investors paraded to its stock today. The retailer posted a 22 percent jump in quarterly earnings, offering hope that the holiday shopping season may be stronger than expected. Macy's (M) shares jumped 9 percent, leading a strong retail sector. Dillard's (DDS) rose 6 percent. J.C. Penney (JCP), Sears (SHLD) and Nordstrom (JWN) also posted gains.

Facebook (FB) rose more than 4 percent after the Wall Street Journal reports the company made a $3 billion bid to acquire Snapchat, which promptly rejected the offer. Many teens have abandoned Facebook, but are flocking to Snapchat to safely send pictures to each other -- images that are automatically erased just a few seconds after they're sent.

Yum Brands (YUM) gained 2 percent. Its KFC unit continues to struggle in China, but sales there fell by less than expected last month.

The fast, casual restaurant chain Potbelly (PBPB) jumped 9 percent on better-than-expected earnings. Potbelly stock doubled in price when its stock debuted last month.

It was a split decision for a pair of IPOs today. Extended Stay, the hotel chain, jumped 16 percent from its initial pricing. But Chegg, which rents textbooks, tumbled 22 percent from its IPO price.

One other big loser: YRC Worldwide (YRCW) tumbled 21 percent on new concerns that it's a candidate for bankruptcy protection.