Dow Jones Industrial Average Crosses 26000 Points

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"The Dow's performance in the first two weeks of 2018 has been nothing short of breathtaking", said Jesse Cohen, senior editor at The Dow Jones industrial average traded above 26,000 for the first time.

Stocks have picked up where they left off in 2017, with investors piling into the market as Wall Street analysts are boosting their projections of how much money US companies will make this year after Congress slashed the corporate tax rate late last year to 21% from 35%.

The investment bank revealed (as it had already flagged) that its fourth quarter earnings have been wiped out by a US$22bn charge related to the new USA tax law.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 5 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,780 as of 3:29 p.m. The Nasdaq shed 24 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,236.

Citigroup Inc rose 1.13 per cent after the lender reported a profit that topped expectations as strength in consumer businesses made up for lower revenue from bond and currency trading.

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Indeed, the Dow Jones industrial average's more than 1,000-point rise from 25,000 to "26K" in the past seven trading days has some investment pros warning that the almost nine-year-old bull market may be entering its "euphoria phase" - which typically marks the final stage of a long, upward climb for stocks. The tumble follows a sharp jump in Viacom Friday after a published report suggested that a merger might be a possibility.

MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.54 per cent, while Tokyo's Nikkei rose 1.0 per cent to 23,951.81. On the Nasdaq, 1,958 issues rose and 673 fell.

The slide in oil prices weighed on energy sector stocks.

General Motors rose 2 per cent after the company said it expected earnings in 2018 to be largely flat, but that profits should pick up pace in 2019. Corp now owns 2,348,723 shares of the exchange traded fund's stock valued at $581,027,000 after purchasing an additional 100,076 shares in the last quarter. In Germany, the Dax added 0.35 per cent, while the French Cac 40 was up less than 0.1 per cent.

Tech stocks have been one of the major forces behind the Dow's record-setting gains. But sterling fell following the data release, boosting the FTSE 100 into positive territory.