US Stock Rally Lifts Dow 26,000 01/17 16:18
A broad rally on Wall Street propelled the Dow Jones industrial average to
close above 26,000 points for the first time Wednesday.
(AP) -- A broad rally on Wall Street propelled the Dow Jones industrial
average to close above 26,000 points for the first time Wednesday.
The sharp gains also delivered record highs for the Standard & Poor's 500
index and the Nasdaq composite, wiping out the market's modest losses from a
Technology and health care companies accounted for much of the gains.
Financials stocks also rose, even as some big banks fell after reporting hefty
"As yesterday's pullback suggests, investors and traders will come back into
a market in which they still see an upside," said Quincy Krosby, chief market
strategist at Prudential Financial. "But the market remains overbought, and an
overbought market is susceptible to a pullback."
The Dow gained 322.79 points, or 1.3 percent, to 26,115.65.
The S&P 500 index rose 26.14 points, or 0.9 percent, to 2,802.56. The Nasdaq
added 74.59 points, or 1 percent, to 7,298.28. The Russell 2000 index of
smaller-company stocks picked up 13.69 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,586.66.
The Dow traded above the 26,000-point threshold on Tuesday, but wound up
closing lower. Its surge Wednesday was driven in part by a gain in Boeing,
which posted the biggest gain in the 30-company average.
With the stock market reaching records so often, 1,000-point moves in the
Dow have become increasingly commonplace. It's been just eight trading days
since the Dow had its first close above 25,000 on Jan. 4. That's faster than
the 23 days it took the Dow to go from 24,000 to 25,000 points.
The stock market is off to a stellar start in 2018. The S&P 500 index has
closed lower only twice this year. It capped last week with its seventh weekly
gain in the past eight.
Investors have been encouraged by strong global growth, rising company
earnings and the prospects for further corporate profits thanks to the tax
overhaul signed into law last month, which cut the top tax rate for
corporations from 35 percent to 21 percent.
Technology stocks were again some of the biggest winners. Lam Research led
the S&P 500 with a gain of $14.69, or 7.7 percent, to $205.08. Investors also
bid up health care stocks, including Anthem. The insurer added $7.40, or 3.1
percent, to $249.15.
Industrial stocks rose after the Federal Reserve said U.S. industrial
production increased 0.9 percent in December. Boeing rose $18.85, or 4.7
percent, to $351.01.
Juno Therapeutics soared 51.9 percent after the Wall Street Journal reported
that biotech drugmaker Celgene might buy it. Juno is one of several companies
developing therapies that involve genetically engineering patients' blood cells
to fight cancer. Juno rose $23.65 to $69.25. Celgene fell $2.80, or 2.7
percent, to $102.02.
Some big companies were left out of Wednesday's rally.
Ford Motor slumped 7 percent after the automaker gave a disappointing profit
forecast for the year because of weaker sales in the U.S., higher commodity
costs and its investments in new electric and hybrid cars. The stock was the
biggest decliner in the S&P 500, giving up 92 cents to $12.18.
Goldman Sachs and Bank of America also closed lower after their latest
quarterly results disappointed Wall Street.
Goldman said it lost $1.93 billion in the fourth quarter as the investment
bank had to record more than $4 billion in charges related to the new tax law.
Goldman's trading desks had a weak quarter. The stock declined $4.81, or 1.9
percent, to $253.65.
Bank of America's fourth-quarter profits fell by nearly half from a year
ago, as the bank had to book $2.9 billion in charges related to the tax law.
The stock slid 6 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $31.18.
U.S. crude added 24 cents to $63.97 per barrel on the New York Mercantile
Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 23 cents to
$69.38 a barrel.
Gold rose $2.10 to $1,339.20 an ounce. Silver dropped 2 cents to $17.17 an
ounce. Copper fell 3 cents to $3.19 a pound.
The dollar rose to 111.13 yen from 110.30 yen on Wednesday. The euro fell to
$1.2235 from $1.2271.
The price of bitcoin extended its slide Wednesday, though by late afternoon
it had pared most of its losses from earlier in the day. The digital currency
fell 1.6 percent to $11,172, according to the tracking site CoinDesk.
Bitcoin futures on the Cboe Futures Exchange fell 2.6 percent to $10,820.
The futures allow investors to make bets on the future price of bitcoin. Many
finance pros believe bitcoin is in a speculative bubble that could burst any
Heating oil futures gained a penny to $2.07 a gallon. Wholesale gasoline
added 2 cents to $1.86 a gallon. Natural gas picked up 10 cents, or 3.3
percent, to $3.23 per 1,000 cubic feet.
European markets finished lower. Germany's DAX lost 0.5 percent, while the
CAC 40 in France slipped 0.4 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 declined 0.4 percent.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index lost 0.4 percent, while the Kospi in South Korea
shed 0.3 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rebounded from earlier losses to gain