Dow closes above 26000 on strong earnings reports

Stocks traded higher on Wednesday following the release of stronger-than-expected quarterly results from some of the biggest US companies. Its decline weighed on the Dow as well as the industrials sector, which fell 0.5 percent.

Since 1982, Bespoke notes that there have been 30 prior instances in which the S&P 500 rallied more than 0.5% to a new all-time high before losing 1% from its daily highs to the closing price.

The possibility of a government shutdown also loomed, though Warne said she believed it would have more impact on Wall Street's performance if an agreement was not reached by the end of Friday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 322.79 points, or 1.25 percent, to 26,115.65. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 74.59 points, or 1.03 percent, to 7,298.28.

In data news, US industrial production more than doubled the consensus forecast for December, raising confidence in the domestic economy. Microsoft rose 2 percent.

Alcoa tumbled 7 percent after the company reported a wider loss in the fourth quarter. "It's been hockey-stick growth up since the tax bill passed". Information technology was the biggest gainer, adding 1.6%. Morgan Stanley rose after its latest earnings beat Wall Street's expectations.

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Goldman Sachs fell 1.8 per cent after reporting a steep quarterly drop in trading income.

That was the shortest time between 1,000-point milestones in the Dow's history spanning more than 100 years.

The Nasdaq is up 37.22 points, or 0.5 percent.

Laszlo Birinyi, longtime strategist and founder of Birinyi Associates, said earlier Tuesday that he sees clear signs the market is going into a period of consolidation, and he is now not setting a target for the S&P 500, after it crossed his last one at 2,760.

- General Electric has been the largest percentage decliner since January 4, down 6.4 percent, followed by Verizon Communications Inc, down 1.7 percent. Consumer staples rose 1.2% and healthcare added 1%.

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