Belfast Telegraph

Dow inches to record high in mixed day for Wall Street

Wall Street stocks ended mixed on Tuesday as investors let up on the accelerator after a three-week rally sent indexes to all-time highs.

The Dow Jones industrial average inched 25.96 points higher, or 0.1%, for its eighth consecutive gain to set another record at 18,559.01.

But the Standard & Poor's 500 index pulled back from its record high. It lost 3.11, or 0.1%, to 2,163.78. The Nasdaq composite fell 19.41, or 0.4%, to 5,036.37.

A mixed set of corporate earnings helped keep the market in a tight range through the day. The S&P 500 was down for the entire day but never by more than 0.4%. About 10 stocks fell on the New York Stock Exchange for every seven that rose.

Netflix was one of the decliners to pull down the S&P 500. It lost 12.97 dollars, or 13.1%, to 85.84 dollars after the video streaming service reported adding fewer subscribers last quarter than it expected.

The tumble continued a sharp turnaround for Netflix, whose stock has struggled in recent months after more than doubling in 2015, the biggest gain in the S&P 500.

Philip Morris International fell 3.11 dollars, or 3%, to 99.89 dollars after reporting weaker quarterly results than analysts expected. Smokers in North Africa, Japan, Argentina and elsewhere bought fewer cigarettes, leading to a 5% drop in shipments from a year earlier.

Better-than-expected earnings from Johnson & Johnson, meanwhile, helped to prop up the Dow Jones industrial average, which has just 30 stocks. The health care giant rose 2.11 dollars, or 1.7%, to 125.25 dollars after it raised its forecast for profits this year.

A report on the housing industry was the latest to show better-than-expected data for the US economy, joining updates earlier this month on retail sales and job growth.

Home construction strengthened more in June than economists expected, particularly in the north-east and west. The June reading on housing starts from the commerce department was the highest since February, though down from a year earlier.

The International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday that indicators are pointing to a pick-up in the US economy following a weaker-than-expected first quarter.

But it also lowered its forecast for global growth this year, down to 3.1% from 3.2%, due to the United Kingdom's recent vote to leave the European Union.

Overseas, Japan's Nikkei 225 index jumped 1.4% on a weaker yen and a Pokemon-powered rally in Nintendo shares. France's CAC 40 was down 0.6%, and Germany's DAX shed 0.8%.

The euro fell to 1.1015 dollars from 1.1068 dollars late on Monday, and the British pound fell to 1.3093 dollars from 1.3260 dollars. The dollar slipped to 106.09 Japanese yen from 106.12 yen.