Dow Halts Record Run, but February Was Still Mighty for Markets

USA stocks surged in early trading Wednesday, pushing the Dow Jones industrial average above 21,000 points for the first time.

Neil Wilson, a market analyst at ETX Capital, said that this is the fastest time ever that the index has passed a 1,000-point milestone.

Oil futures were a mixed bag as the prospect of rising USA production offset reports of compliance with an OPEC production cut agreement. The Russell 2000 index rose 28 points, or 2 percent, to 1,414. The day's main highlight, though, is scheduled for after the close, when President Donald Trump addresses Congress for the first time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index also closed at an all-time high.

"Policymakers have been falling over themselves in the rush to suggest the USA economy is ready for another hike, just one quarter after the last one", said Chris Beauchamp, analyst at IG. Also, the bottom line deteriorated 62.5% year over year due to lower revenue generation. Britain's FTSE 100 was up 1.1 percent.

TRAVEL BUZZ: Shares in Priceline climbed 5.8 percent after the online booking company posted strong quarterly earnings.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Tuesday. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.9 percent.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany's DAX was up 0.1 percent, while France's CAC-40 was 0.1 percent lower. Korea's Kospi traded up 0.30 percent while Australia's ASX 200 was also up 0.37 percent, taking advantage of the boost in oil prices that came following reports that the United Arab Emirates and Iraq have recommitted to reaching their production cut targets.

In the bond market, treasuries moved back to the upside following the pullback seen in the previous session.

In a meeting with state governors, Trump said his administration would be "moving quickly" on regulatory reforms and that his tax plan would be released after a proposal on Obamacare.

Construction spending sank in January on less activity in public works, including transportation and roads. Reads on consumer confidence will be released later in the session, and the indicators will be studied for what they might say about the timing of the Federal Reserve's next interest rate increase. The company's fourth-quarter 2016 results outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate on high fixed-income revenues and lower expenses.

  • Zachary Reyes