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Dow briefly tops 26,000 mark

From Reuters - January 16, 2018

(Reuters) - The Dow eased slightly after hitting the 26,000 mark for the first time on Tuesday, as earnings season got off to a strong start following upbeat results from UnitedHealth and Citigroup.

The largest U.S. health insurer rose 2.6 percent after reporting results that beat analysts estimates and raised full-year profit forecast.

Citigroup Inc rose 0.72 percent after the lender reported a profit that topped expectations as strength in consumer businesses made up for lower revenue from bond and currency trading.

Hopes of strong earnings, supported by a steep cut in corporate taxes, and solid global economic growth have bolstered Wall Streets optimism in the start to 2018.

There is really nothing in (the markets) way at this point, said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago.

Investors are liking the fact that companies are talking up earnings, more than they have done in the past. Were going to see better earnings over the next 12 months and you need to buy stocks now to take advantage of that.

More than three quarters of the 26 S&P 500 companies that have reported so far have topped profit estimates, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

At 10:57 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 145.96 points, or 0.57 percent, at 25,949.15. If the index closes above 26,000, it would be the fastest 1,000-point rise. It ended above 25,000 on Jan. 4.

Boeing, UnitedHealth and Merck were the biggest boosts to the Dow.

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