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While you were sleeping: Dow hits fresh record

Wednesday 2nd August 2017

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Wall Street advanced, with the Dow Jones touching a fresh record high, as better-than-expected corporate earnings bolstered the mood. 

After the bell, Apple is set to reports its latest quarterly results. The stock traded 0.3 percent higher at US$149.20 as of 3.27pm in New York.

"It's tech or bust. It's the have and have-nots," Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer of Longbow Asset Management, referring to the tech sector's outsized gains in recent months, told Reuters.

In 3.30pm trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.2 percent. In 3.15pm trading, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.2 percent.

With two thirds of S&P 500 companies having reported their second-quarter earnings, 72 percent have beaten Wall Street's expectations, above the rate in the typical quarter when 64 percent of companies exceed estimates, according to Reuters.

Earlier in the day, the Dow climbed to a record 21,990.96.

In the Dow, gains in shares of Intel and those of Verizon, recently up 2.3 percent and 1.7 percent respectively, outweighed slides in shares of Boeing and those of Caterpillar, recently down 1.3 percent and 0.9 percent respectively.

Shares of Sprint soared, recently up 10.9 percent, after its chief executive flagged a decision on its merger talks will come soon. The company posted its first quarterly profit in almost three years.

Shares of Archer Daniels Midland climbed after the US agricultural merchant reported better-than-expected earnings, bolstered by margins on sweetener and starches as well as on corn ethanol.

“We are aggressively managing costs and capital, and taking additional portfolio actions,"  ADM CEO Juan Luciano said in the statement, adding that ADM was ahead of pace to meet its 2017 target of US$225 million in run-rate savings.

“With these collective actions, we expect to deliver solid year-over-year earnings growth and returns in 2017, and we are poised to be an even stronger company in 2018,” Luciano noted. 

The stock traded 2.3 percent higher at US$43.14 as of 2.29pm in New York, after earlier rising as high as US$43.69.

Meanwhile, the latest US economic data were lukewarm, bolstering US Treasuries. Yields on the 10-year notes fell 4 basis points to 2.25 percent, according to Bloomberg.

An Institute for Supply Management report showed its index of national factory activity declined to 56.3 in July, down from 57.8 in June. Separately, a Commerce Department report showed consumer spending rose 0.1 percent in June, following  a 0.2 percent increase in May.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index finished the day with an advance of 0.6 percent from the previous close amid better-than-expected earnings including from Rolls-Royce.

The UK’s FTSE 100 Index climbed 0.7 percent, while France’s CAC 40 Index also gained 0.7 percent. Germany’s DAX Index rallied 1.1 percent, led by gains in shares of Deutsche Lufthansa which added 3.5 percent.



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