The Dow Jones Industrial Average kept its record-breaking streak intact on Thursday, adding to records achieved over the past few weeks with another day of slight gains.
The Dow rose 0.17%, achieving a new record close of 20,810. The S&P 500 increased 0.04%. The Nasdaq wasn't so lucky, falling 0.43% following a mixed reaction to Tesla's (TSLA - Get Report) recent quarter.
The Dow began its long stretch of records ten sessions earlier on the back of vague hints from Donald Trump over a forthcoming tax plan. However, with few developments on that front, the record rally has taken on a life of its own, benefiting from individual stock moves, such as a better-than-expected quarter from Walmart (WMT - Get Report) and reports DuPont (DD - Get Report) could clear regulatory hurdles in its merger with Dow Chemical (DOW) .
The possibility that the markets are at a top shouldn't be ignored, argued James "Rev Shark" Deporre on Real Money, our premium site for active investors. Market "bears are focused on the possibility that Trump tax reform policies will be a disappointment and may not be easily passed," he wrote on Thursday. "It is economic optimism that has been fueling the rally since the election and the bears are certain that hopes are far too high."
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin talked tax plans on Thursday, noting that the administration is working to deliver "very significant" tax reform before the August recess in Congress. Mnuchin told CNBC that the plan will focus "on a middle income tax cut and a simplification for business."
Trump met with the chief executives of major manufacturing companies on Thursday with taxes and regulatory reform top topics of conversation. Attendees included United States Steel (X - Get Report) , Caterpillar (CAT - Get Report) and Dow Chemical.
The Mexican peso jumped on Thursday afternoon after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made conciliatory moves with Mexico after Trump's divisive comments on the two countries' relationship through the campaign and his still-new presidency. Tillerson met with Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Luis Videgaray who said the meeting was a "good step." The U.S. dollar fell 1.3% against the Mexican peso on Thursday.
Tesla reported a mixed fourth quarter with a wider loss but improved sales. The electric automaker reported a loss of 69 cents a share, 26 cents wider than expected. Revenue surged 88.4% to $2.28 billion, beating estimates by $100 million. Tesla didn't issue guidance for 2017 but did say that it expects to deliver 47,000 to 50,000 Model S and Model X vehicles in the first half of the year, which would be roughly a 71% increase over a year earlier. The stock fell 6% on Thursday.
Chinese social media stocks Sina (SINA - Get Report) and Weibo (WB - Get Report) were also lower following their quarterly reports. Sina, which holds a 50% stake in Weibo, reported a 37% increase in fourth-quarter earnings and 22% increase in revenue. Microblogging site Weibo doubled its adjusted profit to 34 cents a share from 15 cents a year earlier. Even so, Sina sank 13% and Weibo dropped 16%. Alibaba (BABA - Get Report) , which has a stake in Weibo, fell 1.7%.
Crude oil held higher on Thursday despite gains in U.S. stockpiles over the past week. The Energy Information Administration reported an increase of 600,000 barrels to weekly domestic stockpiles. Another reading on U.S. stocks from the American Petroleum Institute showed crude supplies dropped by 884,000 barrels in the past week.
West Texas Intermediate crude was up 1.6% to $54.45 a barrel on Thursday.
Weekly jobless claims climbed in the past week, though remained at multi-year lows. The number of new claims for unemployment benefits rose by 6,000 to 244,000 in the past week. The less volatile, four-week claims average fell by 4,000 to 241,000. The monthly average is at its lowest level since mid-1973.
Fitbit (FIT - Get Report) added 3% despite reporting a wider-than-expected loss and sharp decline in sales over its recent quarter. A fourth-quarter loss of 56 cents a share was 6 cents more than anticipated. Sales slumped 19.3% to $574 million, falling shy of consensus by $2 million. The company has suffered from increased competition and weakening demand in the wearables market.
Payments company Square (SQ - Get Report) reported a narrower loss than anticipated over its fourth quarter with sales growth in the double digits. A fourth-quarter loss of 4 cents a share was half what analysts expected. Revenue increased nearly 21% to $452 million and exceeded expectations by $2.4 million. The stock rose 14%.
Barclays (BCS) posted weaker-than-expected full-year earnings but saw its shares rise in London after the U.K. lender said it would complete its restructuring program six months earlier than planned. The bank said full-year pretax profit was £3.2 billion ($3.98 billion), missing analysts' estimates of £3.9 billion but up from pretax profit a year earlier of £1.15 billion.
Kohl's (KSS - Get Report) exceeded quarterly estimates and meeting full-year profit expectations. The retailer earned $1.44 a share over its fourth quarter, down from $1.58 a share a year earlier but above consensus of $1.33. Sales of $6.2 billion were in line with estimates. Kohl's said it saw "declines in brick-and-mortar traffic" over the quarter, though online demand countered some of that drag. Same-store sales fell 2.2%, slightly more than consensus of a 2.1% drop.