Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq end at records on strong earnings

NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks surged to fresh records at the close on Wednesday (Jul 26) following another round of strong earnings reports, led by Boeing which vaulted nearly 10 per cent after it raised its profit forecast.

JBG Smith CEO W. Matthew Kelly (right) is applauded as he rings the New York Stock Exchange opening bell to celebrate the closing of the spin-off/merger transaction between JBG and Vornado/Charles E. Smith. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 97.58 points (0.45 per cent) to 21,711.01.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 0.70 points (0.03 per cent) to 2,477.83, edging to its second straight record, after two records last week.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 10.57 points (0.16 per cent) to 6,422.75, the third consecutive all-time high, after the index set three records last week.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve kept benchmark interest rates unchanged and confirmed that it plans to begin to reduce its massive bond holdings “relatively soon,” moves that were expected by the market.

With no surprises from the Fed, earnings remained the market’s prime focus.

Companies in the S&P 500 are on track to report an 8.1 per cent increase in second-quarter earnings-per-share, even better than the 6.2 per cent rise expected initially, said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research.

Nate Thooft, senior managing director of Manulife Asset Management said the market has been especially heartened by good earnings from companies in beaten-down sectors, such as telecommunications. “It’s been a pretty good reporting season so far,” he said.

Boeing jumped 9.9 per cent after it reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings, increased its full-year profit forecast, and announced US$3.5 billion in additional 2017 share repurchases.

Coca-Cola, another Dow member, advanced 1.1 per cent despite a drop in profits, as it announced plans to launch a revamped “Coke Zero” in the United States as it expands offerings of low-sugar and non-carbonated beverages amid flagging demand for sweet sodas.

Ford fell 1.9 per cent after reporting a 3.7 per cent rise in second-quarter profits to US$2 billion. However, the profit margin slipped compared to the year-ago quarter as the automaker increased promotions to unload vehicles in the cooling American market.

Source AFP



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