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Dow ends above 20,000 for 1st time, extending election rally

By AFP 26 January 2017

The Dow finished above 20,000 points for the first time Wednesday, after breaching the milestone at the open, extending a stocks rally following US President Donald Trump's election, which sparked hopes of pro-growth policies.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the blue-chip index, jumped 0.8 percent to 20,068.51.

The broad-based S&P 500 also rose 0.8 percent to 2,298.37, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 1.0 percent to 5,656.34, both new records.

US stocks rose sharply after the election, although they had stalled from mid-December to this week. Analysts said the shift was triggered by Trump’s announcements Tuesday to advance two major pipeline projects that had been blocked by former president Barack Obama.

Investors are betting that Trump will usher in a pro-growth agenda that includes tax cuts, and avoid pitfalls, such as starting a trade war.

“I think, in general the market is saying maybe he will get something done in particular as it relates to tax reductions and possibly even economic stimulus,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at research firm CFRA.”

“I think people are feeling encouraged by his actions to date.”

Beyond the Trump effect, Wednesday’s records came on a busy day for earnings that included better-than-expected results from Boeing, which shot up 4.2 percent to make it the biggest gainer in the blue-chip index.

Caterpillar rose 2.0 percent and Apple 1.6 percent ahead of their earnings releases in the coming days.

Financial stocks, big winners since Trump’s election, also climbed, with JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs both up about 1.5 percent. DM

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