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While you were sleeping: UPDATED Dow closes above 20,000 for first time

The Dow reached its latest milestone as President Trump signed off executive orders that will boost some industries.

Margreet Dietz
Thu, 26 Jan 2017

Wall Street rose, pushing the Dow Jones Industrial Average above 20,000 for the first time, amid better than expected quarterly earnings and fresh optimism about US President Donald Trump's plans to boost growth.

Wall Street gained, along with equities in Europe and Asia. At the close, the Dow traded 155.80 points, or 0.8% higher, at 20,068.51. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.0%, also achieving a new high of 5656.34. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index cpmpleted the trifecta with a 0-8% surge to 2298.37.

The Dow surged immediately over the 20,000 (Dow20K) milestone as the session started and hit an intraday high of 20,080.

This is the second-fastest jump of 1000 points in the Dow's history, the 19,000 mark being passed as recently as November 22. The overall gain since the presidential election is 9%.   

"With a swift move towards signing executive orders, coupled with underlying positive economic data, clarity has begun to hit the headlines, and all the US indexes are celebrating," Prudential Financial market strategist Quincy Krosby told Bloomberg. "Clarity is the markets' oxygen."

Boeing shares at all-time high
Advances in Boeing and Caterpillar shares, up 4.7% and 2.0% respectively, led the gains in the Dow.

Boeing shares rose to a record high after the plane maker offered a better than expected outlook for earnings. It forecast operating cash flow to rise to about $US10.75 billion in 2017, up from $US10.5 billion the previous year.

"With solid fourth quarter operating performance and a sharp strategic focus, we extended our aerospace market leadership in our centennial year and positioned Boeing for continued growth and success in our second century," chief executive Dennis Muilenburg says.

Of the 104 S&P 500 companies that have reported results so far, nearly 70% have surpassed earnings expectations, according to Thomson Reuters.

Some remain cautious.

"With so much uncertainty over the policy agenda of the incoming Trump administration, and the populist tone of his inauguration speech, we remain sceptical over whether the reality of the reflation story will match investors' expectations," HSBC strategists say.

Cisco buys software company
In the latest corporate deal, Cisco Systems says it has agreed to buy San Francisco-based AppDynamics, a business software company, for about $US3.7 billion.

Cisco shares closed 0.3% higher at $US30.70 after earlier rising as high as $US31.05.

AppDynamics was scheduled to price its initial public offering on Wednesday in this year's first major US technology IPO, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Yields on the benchmark 10-year Treasury notes rose to 2.517% from 2.471% on Tuesday, after the biggest daily rise of 2017. Gold fell 1.2% to $US1195.90 an ounce.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index finished the session with a 1.3% increase from the previous close, led by a rally in banks and insurers.

The UK's FTSE 100 Index rose 0.2%, France's CAC 40 Index gained 1%, while Germany's DAX Index rallied 1.8%.



Margreet Dietz
Thu, 26 Jan 2017
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While you were sleeping: UPDATED Dow closes above 20,000 for first time