The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.24% to 22,016. The blue-chip index exceeded the 22,000 milestone set earlier in the session. The Nasdaq dropped by slightly, by less than 0.01%.The S&P 500 gained 0.05%, matching it previous record high of 2,477 set on July 26.
"The Dow ... continues its amazing post-crisis run moving above the 22,000 mark," Mark Heppenstall, CIO at Penn Mutual Asset Management, told TheStreet. "Apple numbers take center stage today but broad-based earnings growth has propelled the bull run in the Dow. Equity market investors continue to look beyond current dysfunction in Washington DC and focus on the improving earnings outlook."
Apple gained 4.7% after reaching an all-time intraday high of $159.75 earlier in the session. The world's largest company beat earnings forecasts and issued an outlook that seemed to allay worries over potential iPhone 8 delays. Apple said it expects revenue in its fiscal fourth quarter, which ends in September, to be about $49 billion to $52 billion, a figure that tops analysts' forecasts and suggests that rumors of production and technical delays linked to the 10th anniversary iPhone release later this year were unfounded.
For its fiscal third quarter, the world's biggest tech company posted earnings of $1.67 a share on revenue of $45.41 billion. Apple said all-time iPhone sales topped the 1.2 billion mark during the three months ended in June after 41.03 million units were shipped during the quarter, a 1.6% increase from the same period last year.
"Apple is projecting another monster quarter over the next three months, and if management can deliver again, we expect the stock to continue its climb past its current highs," said Jim Cramer and the AAP team.
The rest of the tech sector was lower, though. Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) - Get Report , Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) - Get Report , Facebook Inc. (FB) - Get Report , Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA) - Get Report and Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) - Get Report moved lower. The sector has been prone to swift selloffs since a major decline on June 9.
Investor appetite for major tech stocks has soured after a steep run-up in the first few months of the year. the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) - Get Report gained nearly 19% from the beginning of the year through to June 8, the day before the initial selloff, far outpacing the S&P 500's almost 9% gain.
Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) - Get Report weighed on the materials sector following a disappointing first half of the year. The mining company earned underlying profit of $3.94 billion over the first half of the year, lower than an analyst target of $4.26 billion. Revenue surged nearly 25% to $19.32 billion. The stock fell almost 3%.
Other materials stocks in the red included BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) - Get Report , Mosaic Co. (MOS) - Get Report , Cabot Corp. (CBT) - Get Report and LyondellBasell Industries NV (LYB) - Get Report . The Materials Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLB) - Get Report rose slightly, however.
Time Warner Inc. (TWX) reported a better-than-expected second quarter thanks to the box-office success of Wonder Woman. The media company earned $1.34 a share, up from $1.20 a share a year earlier. Adjusted earnings of $1.33 a share beat estimates of $1.19. Revenue of $7.33 billion exceeded consensus of $7.3 billion.
Mondelez International Inc. (MDLZ) - Get Report topped profit estimates over its recent quarter and announced a dividend hike. Adjusted earnings of 48 cents a share exceeded estimates by 2 cents, though revenue of $5.99 billion came in slightly short of consensus of $6 billion. The company increased its dividend by 16% to 22 cents.
Mondelez also announced that CEO Irene Rosenfeld would step down with Dirk Van de Put assuming the position. Rosenfeld will continue as chairman until March 31, 2018.
Garmin Ltd. (GRMN) - Get Report moved higher by 4% on Wednesday after a solid second quarter. The GPS navigation and wireless device maker posted adjusted quarterly earnings of 88 cents per share, 7 cents above analysts' expectations. Revenue came in at $817 million, $9.17 million more than Wall Street had forecast. Garmin got a boost from its fitness products, which helped to offset a not so strong vehicle navigation segment.
Molson Coors Brewing Co. (TAP) - Get Report reported a rise in net profit, though fell short of consensus. Second-quarter profit increased to $1.49 a share from 80 cents a year earlier. Adjusted earnings of $1.66 a share came in below estimates of $2.12. Revenue of $3.09 billion missed expectations of $3.1 billion. Worldwide brand volume increased 2.3%.
AMC Entertainment Holding Inc. (AMC) - Get Report lost more than a quarter of its value on Wednesday after the movie-theater chain said it would report a loss in the second quarter and announced cost cuts. AMC, which reports earnings next week, said its loss in the quarter would be between $1.34 to $1.36 a share, much wider than analysts' forecasts that called for an adjusted loss of 3 cents. A year earlier, AMC posted a profit of 24 cents a share.
The company said the U.S. film industry experienced a "weaker than anticipated second quarter" and that it expects a "very challenging third quarter." AMC said it introduced cost-saving measures such as reducing operating hours and staffing.
Illumina Inc. (ILMN) - Get Report surged 14% after unveiling better-than-expected second-quarter results. The San Diego-based firm earned an adjusted 82 cents a share on revenue of $662 million. Analysts had anticipated 69 cents a share on $642.4 million in sales.
The private sector added 178,000 jobs in July, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report which tracks private payrolls data. Economists were expecting the U.S. to have added 190,000 private payrolls jobs in July.
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As for the Labor Department's official number on Friday, analysts anticipate that a summer lull could pull the number of jobs added to the U.S. economy to below 200,000 for the third time this year. Economists surveyed by FactSet anticipate 180,500 jobs to have been added to the U.S. economy in July, still a solid pace though slower than the rate of 222,000 in June.
On the plus side, the unemployment rate is expected to fall by 10 basis points to 4.3%. Hourly earnings are expected to have increased 0.3% month on month, picking up from a 0.2% growth rate in June. Year over year, hourly earnings growth is targeted to have held at 2.5%.
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