Dow surges 322 points, closes above 26,000 for first time

The Dow closed above 26,000 for the first time in its history, as bank earnings, Boeing (NYSE:BA) and IBM (NYSE:IBM) drove the blue-chip index higher Wednesday.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 322 points to 26,115. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite also hit all-time highs. The S&P 500 advanced 26 points to 2,802. The Nasdaq gained 74 points to 7,298.

An early rally Tuesday morning pushed the Dow past 26,000, clinching the fastest 1,000-point climb for the Dow. Although Wall Street pared its gains later in the session, the rally picked back up a day later.

Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial Network, said the brief pullback after the Dow first cracked 26,000 on Tuesday was a healthy sign for the market.

“With the economy growing at a healthy rate, with corporate earnings rising, and with the Fed still stimulating, there is simply no trigger for a pullback,” McMillan wrote in a note to clients. “Even if we did get a pullback, as we did in early 2016, it would be unlikely to last, and for the same reasons.”

On Wednesday, Boeing jumped 4.7% on news that the aircraft maker will partner with automotive supplier Adient (NYSE:ADNT) to create an exclusive supplier of high-end aircraft seats.

Shares of IBM, another Dow component, rose 2.9% after analysts at Barclays (NYSE:BCS) upgraded the stock to overweight from underweight.

UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) also continued to march higher, with shares up 2.4%. The health insurer on Tuesday beat Wall Street’s expectations for fourth-quarter earnings and raised its outlook for 2018, citing federal tax reform.