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While you were sleeping: Dow tops 23,000

While you were sleeping: Dow tops 23,000

By Margreet Dietz

Oct. 18 (BusinessDesk) - Wall Street was mixed, with the Dow rising above 23,000 for the first time as shares of UnitedHealth Group and those of Johnson & Johnson rose after they reported results that beat expectations and upgraded their respective earnings outlooks.

In 2.32pm trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1 percent. However, the Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 0.1 percent. In 2.18pm trading, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index inched 0.04 percent lower.

Earlier in the day the Dow rose to a record high of 23,002.20.

“There was some good earnings, real good economic data in spite of the hurricanes,” Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial in New York, told Reuters.

“We’re not seeing a market that’s galloping along here," Cardillo noted. "The market from a technical perspective is tired. What you’re seeing is some hesitancy but not any major declines.”

The Dow rose as gains in shares of UnitedHealth Group and those of Johnson & Johnson, recently up 6 percent and 3.5 percent respectively, outweighed declines in shares of Goldman Sachs and those of Visa, recently down 2.5 percent and 0.7 percent respectively.

While Goldman Sachs reported earnings that exceeded expectations, investors weren't impressed.

After two quarters in a row severely missing Wall Street’s bond trading estimates, Goldman’s 26 percent decline did not look so bad, said Oppenheimer analyst Chris Kotowski, Reuters reported.

"While we did not see a sharp rebound in (bond) trading, one can, at a minimum, say that this quarter Goldman looked pretty much like everyone else," Kotowski wrote in a note to clients.

Meanwhile, US Treasuries fell while the greenback rose amid bets the successor of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, whose term ends in February, might be more hawkish. Stanford University economist John Taylor, a candidate for Federal Reserve chairman, made a favourable impression on President Donald Trump after an hour-long interview at the White House last week, Bloomberg reported, citing several people familiar with the matter.

Trump gushed about Taylor after his interview, one of the people said, according to Bloomberg. However, the president told the Wall Street Journal in July that he would “like to see rates stay low,” and Taylor is the namesake of a well-known monetary policy rule that would generally advocate higher interest rates, Bloomberg reported.

Trump plans to interview Yellen on Thursday, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index ended the day with a 0.3 percent decline from the previous close. France’s CAC 40 Index slipped 0.03 percent, Germany’s DAX Index eased 0.07 percent, while the UK’s FTSE 100 Index fell 0.14 percent.

Shares of Danone rose after the French food company posted quarterly sales that exceeded expectations, bolstered by demand for its baby milk formula in China.

“The increase in like-for-like sales has been underpinned by the allocation of additional resources to serve rising demand in Specialised Nutrition, especially in China," Emmanuel Faber, chief executive officer, said in a statement. "The integration of WhiteWave is on track and starting to deliver results."

To be sure, "strong headwinds remain in Brazil which continue to impact EDP International negatively," Faber noted.

Shares of Danone closed 2 percent higher in Paris.



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