Summary

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day above the 22,000 mark for the first time on Wednesday, buoyed by Apple’s healthy quarterly iPhone sales, while weakness in other tech stocks held back the Nasdaq and S&P 500.

Apple rose 4.73 percent to a record high after the world’s largest publicly listed company reported strong results. It is up 36 percent this year. Apple’s rise helped push the Dow to a record closing high, although tech heavyweights Microsoft, Facebook and Alphabet all lost ground following recent strong gains that have made the sector the strongest performer in 2017.

Some investors believe corporations must start spending less on buying back shares and more on technology to improve productivity to justify further gains in Silicon Valley stocks, with the S&P 500 information technology index already up 23 percent this year.

Microsoft slipped 0.44 percent and Facebook ended the trading day down 0.33 percent, both among the heaviest drags on the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq.

The Dow has gained 11 percent in 2017 and is on track for its sixth straight record close, even as Wall Street loses confidence that President Donald Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress will be able to cut taxes and increase infrastructure spending this year.

Two-thirds of S&P 500 companies have reported their second-quarter earnings so far and 72 percent of them have beaten Wall Street’s expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. In a typical quarter, 64 percent of companies beat expectations.

Data indicated private employers added 178,000 jobs in July after adding 191,000 in June. The more comprehensive non-farm payrolls report is due on Friday.

AutoNation fell 7.17 percent after the largest auto retail chain reported lower quarterly profits.

Cardinal Health fell 8.20 percent after the company’s 2018 profit forecast missed consensus estimates.

Approximately 6.5 billion shares changed hands on the major domestic equity exchanges, a number that was above the 6.1 billion share average over the last 20 sessions.

ADP Jobs Count

According to the ADP National Employment Report, private employers added 178,000 jobs in July, a number that was below consensus expectations.

Private payroll gains in the month earlier were revised up to 191,000 from an originally reported 158,000 jobs increase. The report is jointly developed with Moody’s Analytics.

The ADP figures come ahead of the Labor Department’s more comprehensive non-farm payrolls report on Friday, which includes both public and private-sector employment.

Economists polled by Reuters are looking for U.S. private payroll employment to have grown by 180,000 jobs in July, down from a gain of 187,000 the month before. Total non-farm employment is expected to have increased by 183,000.

The unemployment rate is forecast to tick down to 4.3 percent from the 4.4 percent recorded a month earlier.

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