Dow’s 100th record close since Election Day

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a record high on Thursday, its 100th record close since Election Day 2016. The stock market index has been propelled higher by economic optimism and tax reform, which have boosted companies' earnings.

The S&P 500 closed at a record for the 89th time Thursday since the election, and numerous S&P 500 component stocks set records. Shares of companies in various sectors of the economy set records on Thursday, evidence that the strong economy is benefiting many industries.

Some consumer stocks reached records, including Nike, Lowes, Darden Restaurants; tech stocks, including Microsoft and F5 Networks; financial stocks, including Berkshire Hathaway (class B) and American Express; health care stocks, including Anthem and Amgen and industrial stocks, including Honeywell and United Technologies.

The rally comes between quarterly earnings seasons. For the upcoming third-quarter results, estimates are for S&P 500 companies to have an earnings growth rate of 19.9 percent. If 19.9 percent is the actual growth rate for the quarter, it will mark the third-highest earnings growth since the third quarter of 2010 (34.1 percent).

There have been a string of positive quarterly results with tax reform boosting corporations’ bottom lines. Other signs of a strong economy include a robust jobs market with low unemployment, soaring consumer confidence and a strong housing market.