Dow Jones Hits 12th Session of Record High: ETFs in Focus

The Dow Jones Industrial Average blew through the 21,000 mark for the first time on Wednesday as stocks resumed their record-setting rally after a one day breather.

Wednesday's gain was the biggest for the blue-chip index so far this year.

Energy companies rose, but phone companies and utilities fell. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.45 percent from 2.40 percent late Tuesday.

Trump is set to deliver a speech to Congress today, with Wall Street awaiting more detail on the President's spending and tax plans. The chances of a rate hike in March grew overnight after New York Fed President William Dudley said the case for a rates increase had become a "lot more compelling" recently.

Tom Stevenson from Fidelity International point out that the Dow Jones Index has only cleared the 20,000 level three weeks ago, making this the fastest rise between 1,000 milestones since 1999.

Gold was little changed at $1,248.44 an ounce after completing a 3.1 percent gain in February.

Since the election, investors had been betting that Trump's policies on taxes and regulation will accelerate economic growth and boost corporate profits.

Indicating investors' focus on Trump's speech for clues on how he planned to implement his agenda, reaction was largely muted to data that showed USA economic growth slowed in the fourth quarter.

At 12:27 p.m. ET (1727 GMT), the Dow was down 7.78 points, or 0.04 percent, at 20,813.98, the S&P 500 was down 0.42 points, or 0.01 percent, at 2,366.92 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.21 points, or flat, at 5,845.10. He also reaffirmed his pledges to reform taxes, slash red tape and ramp up spending on defense and infrastructure projects.

A disappointing outlook from Target dragged down retailers during the session.

In Europe, most major indices were higher too. Shares of bigger rival Wal-Mart were off 2.3 percent.

Priceline Group Inc.(PCLN) shares rallied more than 6% after the online travel company posted strong quarterly earnings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/shares-of-priceline-gain-on-better-than-expected-quarterly-earnings-2017-02-27). However, the UK's FTSE 100 Index added 0.1 per cent, while Germany's DAX Index rose 0.2 per cent.

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 1.4 percent to finish at 19,393.54. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.2 percent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.1 percent at 5,704.80.

The dollar fell to 112.37 yen from 112.80. Brent crude, which is used to price worldwide oils, gained 19 cents to $56.70 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The euro strengthened to $1.0590 from $1.0589 on Friday.

  • Leroy Wright