Date
19 August 2017
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.24 percent to end at 22,016.24, a record high. Photo: Reuters
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.24 percent to end at 22,016.24, a record high. Photo: Reuters

Dow cracks 22,000 as Apple surges to record high

The Dow climbed above the 22,000 mark for the first time on Wednesday, buoyed by Apple’s healthy quarterly iPhone sales, while weakness in other tech stocks held back the Nasdaq and S&P 500, Reuters reports.

Apple jumped 4.73 percent to a record high after the world’s largest publicly listed company reported strong results. It is up 36 percent this year.

The iPhone maker’s rise helped push the Dow to a record closing high, although tech heavyweights Microsoft, Facebook and Alphabet all lost ground following recent strong gains that have made the sector the strongest performer in 2017, the news agency said.

Some investors believe corporations must start spending less on buying back shares and more on technology to improve productivity in order to justify further gains in Silicon Valley stocks, with the S&P 500 information technology index already up 23 percent this year.

“Apple, at the heart of it, has a lot of consumer exposure, and the consumer is in great shape. But we would like to see some capex,” said Mike Baele, managing director at US Bank Private Client Wealth Management in Portland, Oregon.

Microsoft slipped 0.44 percent and Facebook lost 0.33 percent, both among the heaviest drags on the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq.

The Dow has risen 11 percent in 2017, even as Wall Street loses confidence that President Donald Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress will be able to cut taxes and increase infrastructure spending this year.

“The Trump agenda getting done or not is not the difference between positive or negative GDP,” said Brent Schutte, chief investment strategist at Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “I continue to believe the Trump potential tax changes are the icing on the cake of an already improving economy.”

The Dow hit the 20,000 level in late January and crossed the 21,000 mark on March 1.

The 30-stock index recently marked its fifth straight month of gains and has advanced for eight consecutive quarters, its longest streak since an 11-quarter run from 1995 to 1996.

Two-thirds of S&P 500 companies have reported their second-quarter earnings so far and 72 percent of them have beaten Wall Street’s expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. In a typical quarter, 64 percent of companies beat expectations.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.24 percent to end at 22,016.24, a record high. The S&P 500 gained 0.05 percent to 2,477.57 and the Nasdaq Composite was flat at 6,362.65.

About 6.5 billion shares changed hands in US exchanges, above the 6.1-billion average over the last 20 sessions.

The Dow first closed above 21,000 on March 1, 2017, when it ended the trading day at 21,115.55. The close at 22,016.24 on Wednesday marked 107 trading sessions spent between 1,000 point milestones for the index.

It took the index only 24 sessions to move from 20,000 to 21,000 earlier this year, tied for the shortest such span in its history.

The longest stretch between such milestones has been the 3,630 days needed for the index to close above the 2,000 barrier, reached on Jan. 8, 1987, Reuters said. 

– Contact us at english@hkej.com

CG

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