MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Ride To Records After Strong Earnings

By Sue Chang and Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Boeing soars, accounting for bulk of DJIA gain

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U.S. stock indexes set a round of early records Wednesday as investors cheered another batch of upbeat earnings reports from heavyweights Boeing Co. and AT&T Inc.

But gains were somewhat muted as investors awaited further signals of health at American corporations and guidance from the Federal Reserve, which may provide clues to the path of future rate increases and its plan to commence unwinding its balance sheet.

The S&P 500 index rose 2 points, or 0.1%, to 2,479, with eight of its 11 main sectors trading higher. Telecoms were leading the gains, climbing 2.8%, putting the group on pace for its best daily advance since August 2015, according to FactSet data, following stronger-than-expected earnings from AT&T.

The Nasdaq Composite Index added 11 points, or 0.2%, to 6,425. The Dow advanced 99 points, or 0.5%, to 21,712, setting an intraday all-time high of 21,742. Among blue-chip companies, Boeing shares (BA) jumped more than 8%, powering the benchmark into record territory.

The main equity gauges were on track to close at all-time highs on Wednesday, underlining a trend of repeated highs for stocks driven in part by improving corporate results and optimism around the global economic climate.

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"The market is right to be driven by earnings and so far we've had enough upside surprises. Because it has been the most hated bull market, there is still room to grow," said Kim Forrest, senior portfolio manager at Fort Pitt Capital.

"A number of major companies have stepped up to meet the challenge this quarter, beating the Street handily to provide fundamental support to the market rally," said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at CMC Markets, in a note.

Meanwhile, oil futures climbed on data that showed that U.S. inventories have fallen sharply for a fourth straight week. A rise of almost 1% in the early going (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-rally-continues-as-optimism-builds-ahead-us-supply-data-2017-07-26) looks to stretch crude's week-to-date gain to about 5%.

See:Here's why oil just scored its biggest one-day rally of 2017 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-oil-prices-scored-their-biggest-one-day-rally-of-2017-2017-07-25)

Economic docket: The Federal Open Market Committee's two-day policy meeting is due to end with an announcement at 2 p.m. Eastern Time.

See:Fed to stick to plans for rate hike, balance-sheet selloff this year (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/no-retreat-fed-to-stick-to-plans-for-rate-hike-balance-sheet-selloff-this-year-2017-07-24)

The Commerce Department said new-home sales in June came in at a 610,000 annual pace, a pickup of 0.8% from downwardly revised May data.

Stock movers: Shares in Advanced Micro Devices Inc.(AMD) soared 8.1% after the chip maker reported stronger-than-anticipated earnings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amd-jumps-after-beating-on-earnings-raising-forecast-2017-07-25) and raised its guidance late Tuesday.

See:AMD earnings give investors what they wanted, now it must deliver more (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amd-earnings-give-investors-what-they-wanted-now-it-must-deliver-2017-07-25)

Telecom (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/att-shares-rise-more-than-2-as-company-beats-earnings-expectations-2017-07-25) company AT&T Inc. (T) jumped 4.7% after the company posted better-than-expected earnings late Tuesday.

Healthy burrito chain (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/chipotle-shares-rise-as-earnings-beat-wall-streets-estimates-2017-07-25)Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.(CMG) initially rose following stronger-than-expected results, but reversed to trade 0.5% lower.

Biotech giant Amgen Inc.(AMGN) fell 3% following its quarterly report (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amgen-shares-down-3-after-companys-guidance-on-lower-end-of-expectations-2017-07-25).

Coca-Cola Co.(KO) gained 0.4% after the beverage company reported better-than-expected earnings and lifted its full-year earnings outlook.

Ford Motor Co.(F) shares fell 2.1% even thought the car maker reported earnings above Wall Street expectations and gave positive guidance for the full year.

Insurer Anthem Inc.(ANTM) shares slid 2.2% as quarterly earnings came in above expectations, but revenue fell short.

Aerospace heavyweight Boeing (BA) shares jumped 8.7% after better-than-expected earnings and lifting its full-year guidance (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/boeing-raises-guidance-after-profit-beat-2017-07-26).

Facebook Inc.'s (FB) release is on tap after the market's close Wednesday.

Other markets: European stock markets were uniformly higher while Asian markets (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/japan-aussie-stocks-continue-to-rise-spurred-on-by-commodity-prices-2017-07-26) closed mixed. Gold futures lost ground and a key dollar index edged up.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 26, 2017 12:52 ET (16:52 GMT)