Dow achieved the historical milestone of 22,000 for the first time on Wednesday. This stellar showing was a result of surge in the shares of Apple after the tech behemoth posted outstanding earnings for the third quarter of fiscal 2017. Broadly encouraging economic conditions also drove the Dow past the psychological milestone. The S&P 500 also finished in the green, however, the Nasdaq’s lackluster performance continued as it was dragged down to close in the red due to familiar tech overvaluation issues.
For a look at the issues currently facing the markets, make sure to read today’s Ahead of Wall Street article.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) breached all the records to finish above the 22,000 threshold for the first time on Wednesday and notched its seventh straight daily rise. The blue-chip index closed at 22,016.24, an all-time high, rising by 0.2% or 52.32 points in the process. The S&P 500 Index (INX) increased 0.1%, rising 1.22 points to close at 2,477.57. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index (IXIC) closed at 6,362.65, declining 0.29 point. A total of around 6.5 billion shares were traded on Monday, above the last 20-session average of 6.1 billion shares. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,871 to 866. On the Nasdaq, decliners outnumbered advancers by 2,114 to 601.
Dow Hits 22,000, Buoyed By Apple’s Earnings Outperformance
Dow breaches yet another record in 2017. The blue-chip index, for the first time, achieved the psychological milestone of 22,000. This historic benchmark was achieved within 107 trading days of Dow hitting 21,000.
This stellar showing was made possible by Apple Inc.’s upbeat earnings. Apple Inc. (AAPL - Free Report) reported spectacular results for third-quarter fiscal 2017, driven by the impressive Service segment performance. iPhone sales were also steady in the quarter. Earnings of $1.67 per share and revenues of $45.4 billion surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.57 and $44.7 billion, respectively. On a year-over-year basis, earnings grew 17.6% and revenues increased 7.2%. (Read More: Apple (AAPL - Free Report) Q3 Earnings & Revenues Beat Estimates, Stock Up)
Boeing (BA - Free Report) has also contributed to the Dow’s upward journey. Boeing reported second-quarter 2017 adjusted earnings of $2.56 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.32 and increasing from last year’s loss of $0.44 per share. Furthermore, the escalating geopolitical risks involving Syria and North Korea has led to an increased demand for defense products. (Read More: Boeing Stock Flies to All-Time High After Q2 Earnings). The other companies which have added to the Dow’s performance Caterpillar (CAT - Free Report) , 3M (MMM - Free Report) , McDonald’s (MCD - Free Report) , Goldman Sachs (GS - Free Report) and UnitedHealth Group (UNH - Free Report) .
Other Factors that Drove the Dow Higher
Some other factors which have contributed to the Dow’s historic feat are broadly encouraging economic conditions, Fed’s hesitance to increase the interest rates any further and weakening dollar in the international markets.
The private sector added 178,000 jobs in July although this was lower than the economists’ expectation of 185,000 jobs. But this would certainly lower the unemployment rate which hovered around 4.3% in the month of May, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics. The recent addition of 178,000 jobs would go a long way in lowering the unemployment rate. Further, a steady GDP growth has also made the economy favorable for more investment and spending.
The Fed increased interest rates three times since December. However, at the end of its two day policy meet, the Fed refrained from increasing the interest rates any further. This raises question on the ability of the Trump administration to deliver on the campaign trail promises and the investor sentiment was hurt leading to losses in the broader markets. On the other hand, this turned out to be a boon for the rate sensitive sectors such as utilities which would benefit from the move. Also, this boded well for the banks in general and boosted the bank shares thereby leading to broad based gains.
The Dow consists of 30 large-cap companies which have overseas operations. For the record, the dollar has fallen more than 10% since the start of the year. This makes the US-based goods cheaper in the international market and an increased demand for the same. Also, foreign profits were worth more in dollars. This also resulted in broad based gains for the economy.
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