Stocks Extend Record Highs on Earnings Strength: Markets Wrap

Dow Erases Gains After Hitting 26,000 for 1st Time

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Gains have been led by strength in the healthcare and technology sectors, while defensive sectors continue to underperform.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: Major stock indexes in Europe were mixed.

"DACA is actually the easy issue for a budget compromise".

Wall Street hit new highs on Tuesday, returning from the long-weekend, as low oil prices weighed on the energy shares. Among Dow components, heavy losses in shares of General Electric ( GE ) were offset by a rally in Merck ( MRK ) and UnitedHealthcare. This means the focus today should be on yesterday's close at 25937.

He said this is a historic milestone, but it's not getting much coverage from the mainstream media because they don't want to celebrate the "Trump rally".

ILLEGAL ACTIVITY WARNING: "Piershale Financial Group Inc".

The Nasdaq Composite was up 47.98 points, or +0.66%, at 7,309.97.

Bitcoin's spot price (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bitcoin-tumbles-to-6-week-low-as-top-cryptocurrencies-all-sell-off-2018-01-16) was down sharply to a six-week low, as the top cryptocurrencies all sold off. European equities (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-head-higher-as-euro-pulls-back-2018-01-16) and Asian markets (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asian-stocks-bounce-back-hang-seng-aims-for-a-record-2018-01-16) have scored gains.

Top News Parents Jailed on Torture Charges 13 Hospitalized Sandy Huffaker  Getty Images
Top News Parents Jailed on Torture Charges 13 Hospitalized Sandy Huffaker Getty Images

The Russell 2000 index of small companies rose 8 points, or 0.5%, to 1,600.

"U.S. equity markets flip flopped returning from the Martin Luther King Day holiday and coupled with the softer oil prices, set Asian markets for a day of contemplation", Jingyi Pan of IG said in a commentary. Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester is expected to talk about communicating monetary policy at New Jersey's Rutgers University at 4:30 p.m. Eastern.

The VIX, meanwhile, averages a return of just 0.9 percent a month after a government shutdown.

Earnings growth for the quarter is forecast at 11.9 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data through Tuesday morning.

UnitedHealth Group gained 1.9 percent after its said earnings more than doubled in the final quarter of 2017.

The price/earnings to growth ratio (PEG ratio) is a stock's price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio divided by the growth rate of its earnings for a specified time period. See his thoughts in the video above.

"Key Democratic constituencies are demanding that congressional Democrats insist on making DACA part of the 'must pass' budget legislation to keep the government open", said L. Thomas Block, Washington policy strategist at Fundstrat Global Advisors.

West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.6 percent to $63.94 a barrel, the first retreat in more than a week.

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