Dow Claws Way to Record - TheStreet

Dow Claws Way to Record

The industrials close at an all-time high, but most components of the index end the day lower.
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Updated from 4:20 p.m. EDT

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

closed at a new all-time high Wednesday, as component stocks

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report

and

United Technologies

ran up after their latest quarterly earnings reports.

The Dow rose 30.80 points, or 0.24%, to 12,803.84, and exceeded its old best-ever finish of 12,786.64 set on Feb. 20. Still, of the 30 members of the index, only 11 finished with gains.

Meanwhile, the

Nasdaq

was hit by a slump in Internet heavyweight

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

and fell 6.45 points, or 0.26%, to 2510.50. Yahoo! disappointed investors with its earnings report after the previous close, and its shares dropped 11.8% to close at $28.31.

The

S&P 500

was higher by 1.02 points, or 0.07%, to close at 1472.50.

"Obviously, the market continued to focus on the good news, which is the strong earnings so far," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist with Avalon Partners. "The market is ignoring some of the negatives, such as the price of oil and the falling dollar. Somewhere along the line, we'll start to reflect on the negatives, but for now the mood is strong."

Despite the losses suffered on Feb. 27, when a benchmark index in mainland China sank more than 9% and pressured U.S. markets, the major indices are higher for the year. Thus far, the Dow has added 2.7%, the S&P 500 has risen 3.8%, and the Nasdaq has pieced together a gain of 3.9%.

Helping lift the Dow was JPMorgan, who beat estimates by a wide margin and set plans for a $10 billion stock buyback. Fellow Dow member United Technologies topped analysts' earnings and revenue expectations for the latest quarter and reaffirmed its forecast for the fiscal year.

JPMorgan added $1.89, or 3.8%, to $52.07. United Technologies tacked on 74 cents, or 1.1%, to finish at $66.92.

While volume was strong, breadth still remained an issue for bulls. About 2.97 billion shares changed hands on the

New York Stock Exchange

, with decliners beating advancers by a 9-to-7 margin. Volume on the Nasdaq reached 2.08 billion shares, with losers outpacing winners 3 to 2.

"That tells me we're setting ourselves up for a fall," said Cardillo. "We had a fairly substantial correction and then made that back over a short amount of time. The odds are piling up towards a vivacious pullback."

Robert Pavlik, chief investment officer with Oaktree Asset Management, said that despite the market's rally, traders need to be cautious for the near term.

"The recent market strength can be attributed to traders focusing too much on first-quarter earnings reports," he said. "The market will have to face the reality that we're in a softening economy, with stubborn inflation, weaker manufacturing, a weaker housing market, slowing business spending, a weak U.S. dollar and rising commodity prices."

Aside from Yahoo!, another stock that finished lower was

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

, who said first-quarter profits met estimates as revenue rose 7%. However, IBM was downgraded by Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse, and the stock lost $2.32, or 2.4%, to $94.80.

Providing something of an offset was

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

, whose shares rose 37 cents, or 1.8%, to $21.35 after its own quarterly numbers. Both IBM and Intel are in the Dow.

As a new day dawned, the earnings parade continued to gather steam. Among them,

Motorola's

(MOT)

first quarter was in line with expectations, but the company warned that its current quarter results could fall short of the consensus target. Still, shares added 27 cents, or 1.5%, to $18.22.

Other reporters included

The Bank of New York

(BK) - Get Report

, whose adjusted first-quarter earnings of 59 cents a share beat estimates by 2 cents.

Netflix

(NFLX) - Get Report

missed targets by 2 cents a share and offered weaker-than-expected guidance.

Shares of The Bank of New York slipped 12 cents, or 0.3%, to $41.45. Netflix tumbled $2.26, or 9.4%, to end the day at $21.70.

Away from stocks, Treasuries were on the rise. The 10-year note was up 7/32 in price, yielding 4.65%, and the 30-year bond was ahead by 16/32, yielding 4.81%. The dollar continued to soften against the euro and the yen.

Energy prices inched higher following the latest weekly report on inventory levels. Crude futures rose 3 cents to close at $63.13 a barrel, while natural gas ended up 8 cents at $7.50 per million British thermal units.

The Energy Department's latest weekly inventory figures showed a decline of just 1 million barrels in crude inventories. Gasoline stocks fell by a greater-than-expected 2.7 million barrels, while distillates were lower by only 800,000 barrels.

Metals prices were little changed. Gold added 80 cents to $693.30 an ounce, and silver was off 5 cents at $13.97 an ounce.

Overseas, markets were mixed in Asia and dropping in Europe. Tokyo's Nikkei added 0.8% to 17,667, but Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 0.06% to 20,777. London's FTSE shed 0.6% to 6460, and Frankfurt's Xetra DAX was losing 0.9% to 7282.

The earnings torrent will continue at full force on Thursday. Among those scheduled to report are

Google

(GOOG) - Get Report

,

Advanced Micro Devices

(AMD) - Get Report

,

American Express

(AXP) - Get Report

, homebuilder

D.R. Horton

(DHI) - Get Report

and

Merck

(MRK) - Get Report

.