U.S. stocks open higher, hit records on round of strong corporate results

U.S. stocks open higher, hit records on round of strong corporate results

U.S. stocks open higher, hit records on round of strong corporate results

US stock indexes inched further into record territory Wednesday after AT&T, Boeing and others joined the parade of big companies reporting stronger profits than analysts expected.

In its statement after a two-day policy meeting, the Fed's rate-setting committee indicated the economy was growing moderately and job gains had been solid.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index edged up by 0.70 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 2,477.83 and added a whisper to its record high set a day earlier.

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.

Wall Street rose. In 3.44pm trading in NY, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.1 percent.

Financials, which tend to perform better when interest rates rise, ended down 0.6 percent. Boeing Co.(BA) shares surged almost 10% to its own all-time high, logging its best daily climb on a percentage basis since October 28, 2008, according to WSJ Market Data Group.

SAMSUNG'S STRENGTH: Despite the arrest of its chief in a corruption scandal and the recalls and discontinuation of fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, Samsung Electronics reported record high quarterly earnings thanks to booming demand for memory chips. It jumped $1.39, or 9.9 percent, to $15.50. Perhaps more interesting will be if the central bank says anything about is plans to trim its vast store of investments.

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The central bank voted to keep interest rates unchanged at 1.25% and said balance sheet normalization would begin shortly.

Some investors worry that markets are due to shake out of their unusually calm pattern as the Fed further raises rates and trims its balance sheet. To that point, it had held its benchmark overnight lending rate in a range of zero percent to 0.25 percent for seven years as the USA economy struggled through and slowly emerged from the Great Recession. The two-year yield sank to 1.35 percent from 1.39 percent.

The CAC 40 of France gained 0.4 per cent to 5,211.86 and Britain's FTSE 100 was flat at 7,451.38.

Benchmark U.S. crude topped $48 per barrel for the first time in seven weeks. Brent crude, the global standard, gained 77 cents to $50.97 per barrel.

Natural gas fell 3 cents to $2.91 per 1,000 cubic feet, gold dropped $4.60 to $1,247.50 per ounce and copper rose 2 cents to $2.87 per pound.

The dollar dipped to 111350 Japanese yen from 111.89 yen late Tuesday. A rise of nearly 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%.

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