Dow holds above 20,000; Qualcomm weighs on S&P, Nasdaq


Traders work on the main trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) as the Dow Jones Industrial Average passes the 20,000 mark shortly after the opening of the trading session in New York, U.S., January 25, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

By Tanya Agrawal

The Dow Jones Industrial Average stayed firmly above 20,000 on Thursday, after breaching the milestone a day earlier, but losses in Qualcomm’s shares weighed on the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite indexes.

Qualcomm (QCOM.O) fell 5.4 percent to $53.82 after the chipmaker reported a lower-than-expected rise in quarterly revenue.

The post-election rally roared back to life this week following solid earnings and optimism over U.S. President Donald Trump’s pro-growth initiatives, catapulting the Dow above the historic mark.

Trump’s business-friendly decisions since taking office on Friday include signing executive orders to reduce regulatory burden on domestic manufacturers and clearing the way for the construction of two oil pipelines.

Investors have also cheered largely positive fourth-quarter earnings, which are expected to show growth of 7 percent, their biggest increase in two years.

“So far the new administration has brought a pro-business approach and everyone is excited about that. But it’s not simple to get Congress and the House to agree on changes to the tax plan and regulation,” said Phil Blancato, chief executive of Ladenberg Thalmann Asset Management in New York.

“We have seen relatively decent earnings and if we can hold that and if we get sales growth of over 3 percent then we’ll get a market that will grow higher.”

Revenue for S&P 500 companies in the fourth quarter is estimated to have risen 4.2 percent, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

At 12:43 p.m. ET (1743 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was up 25.64 points, or 0.13 percent, at 20,094.15.

The S&P 500 .SPX was down 2.5 points, or 0.10 percent, at 2,295.87, after hitting a record high of 2300.99.

The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 2.47 points, or 0.04 percent, at 5,653.87. It had hit a record high of 5669.61 just after the open.

Eight of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were lower, with the utilities index’s .SPLRCU 0.39 percent fall leading the decliners.

Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL.N) jumped 8.3 percent to $95.05 after it forecast higher-than-expected adjusted earnings for 2017.

Whirlpool (WHR.N) fell 8.2 percent to $174.38 after the world’s largest maker of home appliances posted a quarterly profit that came in below expectations.

Intel (INTC.O), Alphabet (GOOGL.O), Microsoft (MSFT.O) and coffee chain Starbucks (SBUX.O) are scheduled to report results after market close.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,642 to 1,215. On the Nasdaq, 1,761 issues fell and 1,018 advanced.

The S&P 500 index showed 63 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 125 new highs and 11 new lows.

(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)