US stocks have closed higher as largely upbeat corporate results fuelled investor optimism ahead of the highly awaited State of the Union address by President Donald Trump.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 172.15 points, or 0.68 per cent, to 25,411.52, the S&P 500 gained 12.83 points, or 0.47 per cent, to 2,737.70 and the Nasdaq Composite added 54.55 points, or 0.74 per cent, to 7,402.08.
Technology and consumer discretionary shares, which have driven Wall Street’s advance in the current bull market, led the day’s gains. Shares of Estee Lauder were up after the cosmetics maker’s quarterly results, driven by strong growth in China, topped estimates. Estee Lauder shares had the largest percentage gain among the S&P 500 and boosted the index. Luxury fashion company Ralph Lauren Corp also reported better-than-expected sales and earnings, sending the company’s shares higher.
Alphabet, which on Monday reported results that beat estimates, was a notable exception. The Google parent company’s shares, after falling earlier in the session because of concerns about sharply higher spending, were little changed in afternoon trading.
Following a turbulent end to 2018, US stocks have had a stellar run this year with the S&P 500 and the Dow each up about 9 per cent and the Nasdaq rising 11 per cent.
In addition to corporate earnings, Wall Street’s rally this year has been helped by a recent dovish stance from the Federal Reserve and hopes of a trade deal between the United States and China. In his State of the Union speech, scheduled for 9pm in Washington (1pm Sydney time today), Trump is expected to challenge Democrats to approve funding for his long-sought border wall.Morning-Market-Note-Wednesday-6th-February