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A fair share of the buoyancy in Wall Street this year can be attributed to the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The blue-chip index has been continually hitting record highs, with the latest being the 23,000-mark touched on Oct 17. The index actually set out on an astounding rally since Trump’s win and crossed a “new 1,000-point threshold for the fourth time this year.”

It topped 19,000 for the first time in its 120-year history on Nov 22, 2016. And apart from some occasional dips on Trump’s policy-related uncertainty, there was no looking back. This year itself, the index hit more than 20 record highs. As a result, SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA - Free Report) is up 15.3% this year (as of Oct 17, 2017).

Instrumental Stocks

Stocks that acted as tailwinds in the last six months were the likes of Boeing Company (BA - Free Report) , UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH - Free Report) , Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Free Report) , Apple (AAPL - Free Report) and McDonalds (MCD - Free Report) .

On Oct 17, 2017, International Business Machines Corp (IBM - Free Report) , another major component of DIA, posted a beat on both lines. JNJ too beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for both earnings and sales. UnitedHealth comfortably beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Its membership growth led to the outperformance. UNH and JNJ were up 5.5% and 3.4% on Oct 17 while IBM added more than 5% after hours.

Trump’s Tax Reform Proposal  

At the end of September, Trump revealed his much talked-about tax plan, suggesting comprehensive tax cuts for individuals and corporations. Some of the key suggestions are a cut in the corporate tax rate to 20% from 35% and slashing of the number of individual tax brackets to three from seven.

Goldman sees 2018 earnings for the S&P 500 companies to get a boost of 12% while Bank of America Merrill Lynch believes that the new rate would benefit earnings by about 11% in 2018. Quite expectedly, Dow Jones exhibited a nice stretch on hopes of tax reform (read: ETFs to Benefit from Trump Tax Plan).

Upswing in the Manufacturing Sector

Domestic factory activity jumped to a more than 13-year high in September thanks to higher new orders. An uptick in manufacturing numbers can act as a strong tailwind to Dow Jones Industrial Average’s forward growth, in our opinion. After all, Dow Jones-based ETF DIA invests about 20% weight, the highest allocation, in the industrial sector (read: 3 ETFs to Play Upbeat Global Manufacturing).

Good News from Oil Patch

Furthermore, it has been noticed lately that Dow Jones shares a deep relationship with oil price movement.Though energy sector rally spreads optimism over the broader market as a whole, in most cases, on a particular day of oil surge, the spurt in the Dow Jones is steeper than that of the S&P 500, or vice versa.

In such a scenario, the American Petroleum Institute (API) recorded a steep drawdown of 7.130 million barrels in U.S. crude oil inventories, against the S&P Platts’ analyst survey that expected stockpiles to fall by 3.9 million barrels for the week ending Oct 13.

ETFs That Were Benefited Other Than DIA

Investors should note that leveraged Dow ETF plays favored investors for obvious reasons. Two choices are ProShares Ultra Dow30 (DDM - Free Report) and ProShares UltraPro Dow30 (UDOW - Free Report) . All these Dow Jones-related funds outperformed the S&P 500-based fund (SPY) in the last six months (read: 10-Minute Guide to 10 Most Popular Leveraged ETFs).

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