3M, Caterpillar earnings boost Dow to another record close

27 January, 2018, 20:33 | Author: Lynette Payne
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Wall Street stocks were in full-throttle rally mode Friday, with all three major indices surging to records following strong earnings reports from Intel and other companies.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 1.2 per cent to 2,872.87, and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 1.3 per cent to 7,505.77.

The three main indexes notched their best four-week run since 2016. The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 47 countries, climbed for a 10th straight week, its longest weekly winning streak since 1999.

Meanwhile, traders were also digesting a mixed batch of economic data, including a report from the Commerce Department showing a steep drop in new home sales in the month of December.

Chipmaker Intel jumped 9.4 percent and drugmaker AbbVie soared 9.3 percent after both reported results that were far better than analysts were expecting. Airlines plunged again while biotech drugmakers climbed.

As of Thursday, 77 per cent of the S&P 500 companies that had reported surpassed earnings expectations, while 79 per cent of those companies had beaten sales estimates, according to United States financial information company FactSet.

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Also helping equities, the US dollar remained weak against a basket of major currencies, still bruised by comments earlier this week by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in support of a weak dollar and following Friday's US growth data. The greenback clawed back some of the losses after President Donald Trump said he ultimately wants the dollar to be strong.

The latter finished up 141 points at 26,392 while the S&P 500 added 1.71 at 2,839.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 222 points, or 0.8 percent, to 26,616. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.54 per cent, and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.67 per cent.

Investors shrugged off government data that put fourth-quarter USA growth at 2.6 per cent, below the 2.9 per cent expected by analysts.

Intel's shares increased by 9.1 percent. S. Treasury yields trimmed early gains after the GDP data. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, fell by 3.3 basis points to 2.621%.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures closed at $66.14 a barrel, up 63 cents, or almost 1 per cent.

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