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article imageNew record high for Dow Jones Index as it tops 22,000

By Ken Hanly     Aug 2, 2017 in Business
New York - In intra-day trading, the Dow Jones(DJ) industrial average index broke through the 22,000 level for the first time ever a rise caused mostly by a rally of Apple Corp. after its earnings were better than most analysts had forecast.
The year to date gain of the index is about 11.5 percent. Traders seem to ignore what all the media concentrate upon, the antics of Donald Trump. Even the fact that Trump appears unable to pass major legislation through the Republican-dominated US Congress appears not to faze them. Investors and traders appear to be paying most attention to earnings results.
Today it was earnings of the giant Apple Inc. that led the way forward for the DJ. Its shares rose to a record on Wednesday to as high as $159.65 a leap of 6 percent. Apple is up a whopping 36 percent on the year. The Dow closed at 22,016.24. The market gains this week are somewhat surprising in that monthly data on personal income, manufacturing and construction were all below most analysts predictions. Personal spending and inflation figures matched estimates. Weakness in other stocks caused the S&P 500, and Nasdaq to pull back somewhat with the S & P ending up just 0.05 percent at 3,477/57 and the Nasdaq flat at 6,362.65. However, the S & P 500 information technology index is up 23 percent already this year.
Auto sales for July were particularly disappointing with all Big Three auto manufacturers missing sales estimates by wide margins. The number of jobs added in July, 178,000 according to the ADP private-payrolls report were fewer than fore-casted. During the past 8 weeks Boeing is responsible for about half of Dow gains as its second quarter earnings topped forecasts, helped by paring costs.
Brent Schutte, chief investment strategist at Northwestern Wealth Management Company in Milwaukee Wisconsin said: "The Trump agenda getting done or not is not the difference between positive or negative. I continue to believe the Trump potential tax changes are the icing on the cake of an already improving economy." It is the positive earnings picture that appears to have the most influence on investors as two thirds of the S & P 500 companies have reported their earnings already, with 72 percent of them having done better than analysts had predicted.
Other indices did not fare so well as some in the US. The Stoxx Europe 600 index fell 0.4 percent. The MSCI All-Country World Index was flat. Oil was up with West Texas intermediate crude rising 0.9 percent to $49.59 a barrel as record demand for gasoline eased concerns that record US shale production would produce a global glut. Gold futures were off 0.5 percent at $1,272.20 an ounce.
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