Published On: Wed, Oct 18th, 2017

Dow hovers above 23,000, boosted by IBM

(Reuters) – The Dow Jones Industrial Average stayed above the 23,000-mark in late morning trading on Wednesday with solid support from IBM, which reported strong earnings.

Shares of IBM (IBM.N) surged 9 percent and accounted for nearly 92 of the 136 point gain in the blue-chip index, after the company signaled it was back on growth path.

The Dow had briefly surpassed the all-time peak on Tuesday but closed 3 points short of the record level. The latest 1,000-point increase was covered in roughly half the time it took the index to move from 21,000 to 22,000.

Solid earnings and hopes that President Donald Trump may be able to make progress on tax cuts have helped the market rally this year.

“We continue to see solid numbers above expectations, stability in terms of economic growth and global growth,” said Omar Aguilar, chief investment officer for equities at Charles Schwab Investment Management.

“Announcements by the ECB next week and decision by the Fed in December will probably have a higher impact on whether or not we continue this rally.”

The dollar climbed higher, tracking higher U.S. Treasury yields, while news on a potential new hawkish Federal Reserve chair and the slow progress of U.S. tax reforms also supported the greenback. [USD/]

Investors are also awaiting the Fed’s issue of the Beige Book, a periodic snapshot on the health of the U.S. economy. The report, due at 2:00 p.m. ET (1800 GMT), will likely show if inflation pressures are accelerating.

At 11:06 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 132.35 points, or 0.58 percent, at 23,129.79, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 1.96 points, or 0.08 percent, at 2,561.32 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 2.67 points, or 0.04 percent, at 6,626.33.

The S&P and the tech-heavy Nasdaq also hit record highs but traded in narrow ranges. Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, led by 0.47 percent drop in the telecom services index .SPLRCL, followed by 0.42 percent slide in the utilities index .SPLRCU.

Financial stocks .SPSY gained 0.54 percent, tracking a surge in U.S. treasury yields.

Shares of big banks Wells Fargo (WFC.N), Bank of America (BAC.N) and Goldman Sachs (GS.N) rose between 0.84 percent and 1.83 percent.

Abbott (ABT.N) rose 1.54 percent after the company’s profit beat estimates on strong sales in its medical devices business.

Anthem (ANTM.N) gained about 3.83 percent after the health insurer said it signed an agreement with CVS Health (CVS.N) to support the company’s new pharmacy benefit management business.

Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG.N) slipped 1.85 percent after Bank of America Merrill downgraded the company’s stock to “underperform” and slashed its price target by $ 105 to $ 285.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,374 to 1,351. On the Nasdaq, 1,569 issues rose and 1,159 fell.

Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Arun Koyyur

Reuters: Business News