Dow passes 23,000 for the first time, closes at 22,996

By Sara Shayanian  |  Oct. 17, 2017 at 12:26 PM
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Oct. 17 (UPI) -- The Dow Jones industrial average reached a milestone on Tuesday, passing 23,000 for the first time. It dropped down to 22,996.27 at close.

Strong earnings from Johnson & Johnson and UnitedHealth Group helped push the benchmark index over the top.

UnitedHealth, the United State's largest health insurer, rose 5.3 percent, while Johnson & Johnson rose 2.4 percent. Goldman Sachs, however, decreased 1.3 percent.

The record marks the sixth 1,000-point milestone in the past 12 months and the fifth since President Donald Trump was elected last year.

Although the professional investor class typically may dismiss round-number milestones, the record-breaking numbers still serve as a sign to investors that the market is still progressing.

"Those big, round numbers are getting easier to reach on the Dow on a percentage basis," Art Hogan, the chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities, said.

"That's great because every time we get a milestone like that, it seems like mainstream America pays more attention to financial markets."

Recent gains in the market have been attributed to Trump's tax plan announcement. Enthusiasm for the plan centers around the belief that Wall Street-boosting measures will be put in place, like deregulation and tax cuts, that will allow for even greater gains in the future.

"I feel the market is responding to the GOP's acceptance of deficit-widening in order to get their tax cuts," Crit Thomas, a global market strategist at Touchstone Investments, said.

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