Stocks up on reinvigorated Trump rally; Dow tops 20,000

Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:57pm EST
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By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global equity prices rallied and the Dow Jones Industrial Average blew past the psychological 20,000 level on Wednesday, lifted by strong Japanese trade data, robust earnings and investor hopes that U.S. President Donald Trump will press ahead with a large fiscal spending package.

The rally in stocks boosted U.S. Treasury debt yields, but lingering concerns about growing protectionism and the potential negative effects on global trade and growth pushed the U.S. dollar lower.

MSCI's world index, which tracks shares in 46 countries, hit a 19-month high, up 0.8 percent.

Data showing Japan's exports rose for the first time in 15 months in December and strong corporate results in Europe boosted the index. Rallying U.S. stocks pushed it higher.

The Dow, which came within a point of 20,000 on Jan. 6, had struggled to top it as investors looked for clarity on the new U.S. administration's policies.

Strong earnings and renewed focus on Trump's pro-growth initiatives, however, reignited a post-election rally and pushed the three major benchmark U.S. stock indexes to record highs.

"It was definitely a milestone that the market has been focused on for really the better part of two months and you were starting to get a little bit of anxiety as to whether it was going to be surmounted or not," said Julian Emanuel, Equity Strategist at UBS in New York.

"We are particularly encouraged to see financials acting well again because they have been the leadership."   Continued...

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) as the Dow Jones Industrial Average passes the 20,000 mark shortly after the opening of the trading session in New York, U.S., January 25, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid