Dow Industrials Make Run at 22000

By Justin Yang and Akane Otani Features Dow Jones Newswires

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed toward a fresh record Tuesday, lifted by gains in bank stocks.

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The blue-chip index added 87 points, or 0.4%, to 21978, putting it within striking distance of the 22000 milestone. The index hit a high of 21988 on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 rose 0.2%, and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.3%.

U.S. stocks have climbed to fresh highs this year, buoyed by strong corporate earnings and signs of resurgent global growth. With more than half of S&P 500 companies having reported results for the second quarter, firms are on track to post their best sales growth in years.

That should help major indexes continue to climb, investors say, even as many hold doubts over the timing and scale of potential policy changes from the Trump administration, such as tax cuts and infrastructure spending.

"Equities are in an earnings-driven market, surprising to the upside," said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

Bank shares lifted U.S. stock indexes early in the trading session. Goldman Sachs Group added 1.2%, contributing about 20 points to the Dow industrials' gains, while J.P. Morgan Chase rose 1.2%.

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Drugmakers' stocks lagged behind major indexes, with shares of Pfizer Inc. falling 1.2% after the pharmaceutical company said sales declined in the second quarter because of increased competition.

Automakers' shares fell, too, with Ford shares down 2.8% and General Motors shares losing 3.4% after the two companies said sales dropped sharply in July.

Dow heavyweight Apple Inc.'s earnings report is due later Tuesday.

Government bond prices climbed Tuesday, with the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note falling to 2.264%, according to Tradeweb, from 2.292% Monday. Yields fall as bond prices rise.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx 600 Europe rose 0.8%, lifted by a raft of upbeat earnings reports.

Energy giant BP PLC rose 3.2% after the company returned to profitability in the second quarter on recovering oil prices.

Moves in European stocks followed several economic data releases in the region. Eurozone economic growth gathered pace in the second quarter, coming in roughly in line with economists' expectations, data showed Tuesday. The reading marked the most consistently strong expansion of Europe's economy since bouncing back from the recession that had followed the global financial crisis.

Earlier, improvement in a closely watched private gauge of manufacturing in China helped shares in Asia climb. A reading from Caixan and IHS Markit rose for a second straight month in July and hit its highest level since March.

The Shanghai Composite Index closed up 0.6% after four consecutive sessions of gains. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index hit fresh two-year highs, rising 0.8%, while Korea's Kospi added 0.8%, lifted by gains in Samsung, Asiana and Korean Air.

Kenan Machado contributed to this article.

Write to Akane Otani at akane.otani@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 01, 2017 11:33 ET (15:33 GMT)