Dow surges 300 points, closes above 26000 for first time

  • Dow surges 300 points, closes above 26000 for first time

Dow surges 300 points, closes above 26000 for first time

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plowed past 26,000 as optimism over corporate earnings turbocharged the equity bull market.

Oil's drop below $69 a barrel on a reported rise in USA fuel stocks shaved 0.66 percent off the S&P energy index.

The Dow hit the 25,000 mark just over two weeks ago, making this the fastest-even thousand-point gain for the index. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.7 percent to a record. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 19 points, or 1.2 percent, to 1,572.97.

Juno Therapeutics soared 50 percent after the Wall Street Journal reported that biotech drugmaker Celgene might buy it.

With the stock market reaching records so often, 1,000-point moves in the Dow have become increasingly commonplace.

Bank of America (BAC.N) was down 0.2 percent after a $2.9 billion one-time tax charge almost halved its reported profit.

- The Dow is up 2.9 percent since the January 4 close, and up 4.3 percent since December 31.

Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial Network, said the brief pullback after the Dow first cracked 26,000 on Tuesday was a healthy sign for the market.

The Nasdaq is up 394.89 points, or 5.7 percent.

General Electric (GE.N) slipped 4.7 percent, extending losses from Tuesday, when it announced more than $11 billion in charges.

Alcoa shares sank 8 percent after the aluminum producer's quarterly earnings missed analysts' estimates.

Media company Viacom dropped 7 percent following reports that it's not in talks to merge with CBS. Viacom fell $2.38 to $31.38. It measures the daily stock price movements of 30 large, publicly-owned USA companies.

Gold rose $2.10 to $1,339.20 an ounce. Copper fell 3 cents to $3.19 a pound. The euro fell to $1.2235 from $1.2271. "This might just be a little bit of a pullback, especially after yesterday's significant gain, until we get further into the earnings season", said Lindsey Bell, investment strategist at CFRA Research in NY. The futures allow investors to make bets on the future price of bitcoin.

Heating oil futures gained a penny to $2.07 a gallon. Natural gas picked up 10 cents, or 3.3 percent, to $3.23 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Volume on USA exchanges was 7.40 billion shares, compared to the 6.31 billion average over the last 20 trading days. Britain's FTSE 100 declined 0.4 percent.