MARKET SNAPSHOT: Dow, S&P, Nasdaq End At Records On Same Day Time For 27th Time In 2017

Snap Inc.'s stock falls about 16% after quarterly results

U.S. stocks booked slight gains on Wednesday, allowing the main equity benchmarks to creep further into record territory as investors awaited updates on efforts to pass tax reform in Washington and as President Donald Trump toured Asia, highlighting lingering tensions with North Korea ( in a speech.

What are the main benchmarks doing?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average , which rung up a fresh all-time closing high on Tuesday (, finished up 6.13 points, or less than 0.1%, at 23,563.36, buoyed by shares of Johnson & Johnson(JNJ), Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), and Wal-Mart Stores(WMT).

The S&P 500 index closed up about 3.74 points, or 0.1%, at 2,594.38, supported by gains in consumer-staples stocks and technology shares. Meanwhile, the tech-oriented Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 21.34 points, or 0.3%, to settle at 6,789.12.

All three equity benchmarks finished at all-time highs on the same day for the 27th time in 2017. For the Dow it was the 59th closing high in 2017, the 53rd for the S&P 500, and the 64th for the Nasdaq.

The Dow has gained 29% since Trump was elected president on Nov. 8, 2016, while the S&P 500 has rallied 22% and the Nasdaq Composite has rallied 31% during that period.

What was driving the market?

The three gauges have moved incrementally higher in recent trade as investors fret about valuations exceeding stock-market fundamentals. So far, the bull run has been underpinned by factors such as an expanding U.S. economy, improving corporate profits and bets that the Trump administration will deliver on business-friendly measures like tax cuts.

The Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday said the tax bill written by House Republicans would boost the deficit ( by $300 billion more than lawmakers estimated and outside the $1.5 trillion size the recently passed budget would require to meet Senate rules.

See:Dow's 1-year gain since Trump's win is its biggest post-Election Day rise since 1945 (

What are strategists saying?

"We are still in a situation where you're looking at every position for the likelihood of tax reform happening, and I think that will be sort of the dominant headline over the next few weeks," said Ian Winer, head of the equities division at Wedbush Securities.

"People will decide whether they think it is going to happen or not," he said of the passage of any tax-reform bill.

Still, Winer said the current environment makes it difficult for investors to sell stocks.

"There is no alternative to stocks, central banks are still largely accommodative and in lieu of any of that changing, it is hard to come up with a compelling bear case" he said.

Colin Cieszynski, vice president of the Canadian Society of Technical Analysts, said Wednesday's moves may reflect a cooling of a market that has risen almost relentlessly on the back of a number of upbeat factors.

"Looks to me that tech stocks are leveling off and the market overall is leveling of and that's not unusual in earnings season because there are fewer big cap companies reporting," Cieszynski said.

"I don't really see how this bull market gets derailed," said Maris Ogg, president at Tower Bridge Advisors. She said part of the expected longer-term driver is the "obvious, durable recovery in Europe and because Europe is the same size of the U.S. in terms of economic activity, I would guess that next year looks a lot like this year," Ogg said.

Read:Here are the winners and losers of the tax plan, by income bracket (

Opinion:Cutting corporate taxes is the best part of the Republican plan (

Which stocks were key movers?

Apple Inc. (AAPL) saw its market value surpass the milestone of $900 billion for the first time in history, fortifying the iPhone maker's hold on the title of the world's most highly valued company.

Shares in Snapchat parent Snap Inc.(SNAP) fell 15% after the company posted disappointing quarterly results late Tuesday ( and discussed a redesign for its messaging app ( They had been down roughly 20%, but erased losses somewhat following reports that Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd.(0700.HK) has established a 10% stake in Snap.

The Justice Department has told AT&T Inc. (T) that the company needs to sell CNN (, Time Warner's cable news network, in order for its proposed $84.5 billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc(TWX) to be approved, according to a report in the Financial Times. Shares of AT&T were up 1.1%, while those for Time Warner were down nearly 6.5%.

Shares in peer-to-peer lending company ( Corp.(LC) tumbled about 16% after reporting a disappointing full-year earnings outlook late Tuesday.

iHeartMedia Inc. (IHRT), the biggest operator of radio stations in the U.S., reiterated doubts about its ability to remain a "going concern (" in its latest filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Its shares finished down 6.3%.

Fossil Group Inc.(FOSL) shares tumbled more than 17% after the accessories seller ( a disappointing outlook of its own late in the prior session

Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.(TTWO) climbed 10.6% after the producer of videogames boosted its outlook while reporting results late Tuesday (

Shares in health insurer ( Inc.(HUM) disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that third-quarter revenue fell 3.0% to $13.282 billion from $13.69 billion, just below the FactSet consensus of $13.325 billion. Shares of health-care company slumped 5%.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.(REGN) rose 2.7% after the biotechnology company reported third-quarter profit and revenue that rose above expectation (

Wendy's Co.(WEN) shares fell 1.6% after the fast-food chain reported third-quarter earnings and revenue that came in weaker than consensus (

MGM Resorts International(MGM) added 5.1% even as the company reported third-quarter profit that was below Wall Street expectations (

What are other assets doing?

European stocks settled mostly lower (, while Asian markets ( largely closed with losses. Gold futures finished higher (, oil futures ( retreated a second-straight session, and the ICE U.S. Dollar Index was flat (

--Mark DeCambre contributed to this article

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 09, 2017 07:36 ET (12:36 GMT)