Dow Notches Tenth Consecutive Record Close

The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks slid 6.49 points, or 0.5%, to 1,403.86. If the blue-chip average closes higher, it will have notched 10 record closes in a row, the longest such streak since 1987.

The markets may benefit from recent upward momentum, which has helped propel the major averages to new record highs.

The S&P 500 was up 4.94 points, or 0.21 percent, at 2,367.76 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 2.30 points, or 0.04 percent, at 5,862.93. Shares of Dow Chemical jumped 4.6 percent as of 1.09pm trading in NY. The pause followed a solid day of gains on Tuesday, when all three indexes finished at records.

Blue chip stocks have been getting a lift from a number of tailwinds, ranging from optimism surrounding Trump's economic plans and a realization that the economy, job market and corporate profits have been moving higher for months now.

The odds of a rate hike stand at 22 percent for March, 47 percent for May and 69 percent for June, according to Thomson Reuters data.

On the other hand, The broader S&P 500 index fell 2.56 points or 0.11 percent to end at 2,362.82.

U.S. stock markets closed mixed on Wednesday after minutes from the Federal Reserve's previous meeting hinted that a rate hike coming "fairly soon".

In Asia, equities followed USA stocks lower on Thursday in morning session, with Japanese shares slipping after Fed minutes were deemed dovish enough to send the yen climbing.

On the currency front, the USA dollar is trading at 112.69 yen compared to the 113.31 yen it fetched at the close of NY trading on Wednesday.

The Dow has added almost 1,000 points this month, as investors continued to rally behind President Donald Trump's yet-to-be-implemented economic policies.

The S&P 500 is up 11.66 points, or 0.5 percent. The Chicago Fed National Activity Index fell 0.05 in January.

European stocks (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-hunt-for-firm-direction-as-earnings-reports-pile-up-2017-02-23) bounced between gains and losses after a string of corporate updates.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,828 to 840. On the Nasdaq, 1,489 issues fell and 802 advanced.

  • Zachary Reyes