Dow breaks above 26000 but ends below that level

Dow breaks above 26000 but ends below that level

The gains briefly sent the Dow Jones industrial average past the 26,000-point threshold for the first time.

Shares were lower Wednesday in Asia after a flip-flop session on Wall Street, where the Dow industrial average ended nearly flat after backtracking from a broad rally earlier in the day.

The Dow's big gainers were Merck, UnitedHealth and Boeing, the aircraft manufacturer whose popularity with investors was a big contributor to the Dow's success in 2017.

At 9:41 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 225.34 points, or 0.87 percent, at 26,028.53, helping it record its fastest 1000-point rise. That was the first time the blue-chip index finished above 26,000.

The Dow rose 323 points, or 1.25%, to 26,116.

The S&P 500 was up 6.52 points, or 0.23 percent, at 2,792.76 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 18.21 points, or 0.25 percent, at 7,279.27. The Nasdaq rose 53 points, or 0.7 percent, to 7,315. Financials stocks also rose, even as some big banks fell after reporting hefty quarterly losses. IBM rose 2.9% after Barclays analysts upgraded the stock two notches to "overweight" and increased its price target by $59 to $192. According to financial research company FactSet, of the S&P 500 companies that had reported as of Friday, 69 per cent have surpassed earnings-per-share estimates while 85 per cent have beaten expectations on the top line.

Penneys and Primark-owner Associated British Foods advanced 2.3 per cent on the back of a Barclays upgrade to "overweight" from "equal weight". Viacom fell $1.80 to $31.96.

The price of bitcoin extended its slide Wednesday, though by late afternoon it had pared most of its losses from earlier in the day. Marathon Patent, Riot BlockChain, Xunlei and Overstock.com fell between 7.7 percent and 11 percent.

BOND YIELDS: Bond prices fell.

Heating oil futures gained a penny to $2.07 a gallon.

Glenveagh Properties rose 0.7 per cent to €1.24 on a day when it announced four senior management appointments. Germany's DAX lost 0.2 percent to 13,220.70. The blue chip FTSE 100 index ended down 0.28 per cent.

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