Dow cracks 26000 as earnings take center stage

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 97.84 points or 0.37 per cent to 26,017.81 the S&P 500 lost 4.53 points or 0.16 per cent to 2,798.03 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 2.23 points or 0.03 per cent to 7,296.05

The broad-based S&P 500 lost 0.2 per cent at 2,798.03, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index slipped less than 0.1 per cent to 7,296.05.

The bronze sculpture of a bull that stands near the New York Stock Exchange serves as a symbol of Wall Street's power perhaps this year more than ever.

"The global economy and global markets are in sync for the first time in a meaningful way since the Great Recession".

USA stocks ended lower on Tuesday, after touching record highs earlier in the session, as investors weighed the possibility of a government shutdown.

USA stocks closed higher with the Dow closing above 26,000 for the first time, following the release of stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings reports. The S&P 500 index has closed lower only twice this year.

Volume on USA exchanges was 6.93 billion shares, compared to the 6.3 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

Investors were watching for the impact of Washington's latest tax changes on United States companies as earnings season for the final quarter of 2017 gets into full swing.

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Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.56 percent.

Six of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, led by a 1.31 percent rise in the real estate index and a 0.81 percent gain in the healthcare index. On the upside, International Business Machines Corp. rose 2.8% after Barclays upgraded the stock to overweight from underweight.

Merck surged more than 7 percent after early results from a key study showed its blockbuster drug Keytruda and two chemotherapy medicines helped lung cancer patients live longer and stopped the disease from advancing.

Citi gained 0.4 per cent after reporting robust quarterly earnings despite booking a US$22 billion charge tied to last month's passage of a major U.S. tax overhaul. However, the UK's FTSE 100 index fell 0.2 percent. According to the Bank of America Merill Lynch this is a record and a "blockbuster".

The Japanese yen was flat at 110.54 per dollar, the first retreat in more than a week.

Specialist Meric Greenbaum, left, works with traders Michael Conlon, center, and Daniel Ryan on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. The euro weakened to $1.2237 from $1.2258. Investors of record on Monday, December 18th will be issued a dividend of $0.5606 per share. The company's stock ended an increase of 1.7%.

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