(CNBC) — U.S. equities closed sharply higher on Wednesday as the Dow and S&P hit new record highs, while investors awaited a monetary policy announcement from the European Central Bank.

The S&P 500 erased earlier losses to rise around 1.3 percent, with telecoms rallying around 2 percent to lead advancers.

“This 2,219 level [on the S&P] was on where a lot of people were expecting to see some resistance, and we went through it like a hot knife through butter,” said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade, adding stocks were also boosted by some short covering. “A lot of people have been saying ‘this is the end’ and have ended up with very little money in their hands.”

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