Early Wall Street rally fizzles as stocks end lower


Stocks are closing higher on Wall Street, sending the Dow Jones industrial average to its first close above 26,000 points.

The MSCI All-Country World Index gained 0.1 percent to an all-time high. The Journal notes that the records keep falling faster: The Dow took only 23 trading days to hit 25,000 from 24,000 on January 4, and the previous 1,000-point milestone (which actually happened twice: getting to 11,000 and 21,000) took 24 trading days. The Dow advanced 228.46 points or 0.9 percent to 25,803.19, the Nasdaq climbed 49.28 points or 0.7 percent to 7,261.06 and the S&P 500 rose 18.68 points or 0.7 percent to 2,786.24.

UnitedHealth rose 1.9 percent after the largest USA health insurer reported results that beat estimates and raised its 2018 earnings outlook.

Earnings season is off to a strong start thus far.

The day's early spike in the Dow had been sparked by robust earnings from Citigroup and UnitedHealth. Of the S&P 500 companies that had reported as of Wednesday, 78 percent have surpassed earnings-per-share estimates while 89 percent have beaten expectations on the top line, according to Nick Raich, CEO of The Earnings Scout.

"This is going to be a philosophical question within the market, in terms of how much higher earnings growth from tax cuts is worth in terms of valuation, and how much is it worth just purely on a dollar per share earnings basis", Jurrien Timmer, director of global macro at Fidelity Investments, told Bloomberg.

Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX) has grabbed attention from the analysts when it experienced a change of 0.26% in the last trading session to close at $60.56. They generally move extremely slowly and they only produce big price swings when the company produces good or bad trading results, which may only happen a couple of times a year at best. The ICE U. S. Dollar Index added almost 0.1% from Friday to 90.51, just north of its lowest level in three years. The stock declined $4.81, or 1.9 percent, to $253.65. Other companies have said they'll use savings from tax reform to buy back stocks.

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 2/32 in price to yield 2.5462%, from 2.552% late on Friday. Eight of 11 sector groups finished in the red with materials and energy companies leading the way down with losses of 1.2%. U.S. crude fell 0.53% to $63.96 per barrel and Brent was last at $69.43, down 1.18% on the day.