The Dow Jones Industrial Average has smashed through the 22,000 points barrier for the first time, leaving the US stock market on track for seven days of record highs on the bounce.
It was driven upwards on opening in New York after its most valuable member, Apple, saw its shares surge 6% following the release of third quarter results late on Tuesday which beat estimates.
The Dow has only 30 constituent companies which do not reflect those with the highest market value in the United States.
Nevertheless, its recent gains attracted the attention of the White House ahead of Wednesday’s opening bell.
President Trump moved to take some of the credit by tweeting: “Stock Market could hit all-time high (again) 22,000 today. Was 18,000 only 6 months ago on Election Day. Mainstream media seldom mentions!”.
Stock Market could hit all-time high (again) 22,000 today. Was 18,000 only 6 months ago on Election Day. Mainstream media seldom mentions!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2017
The more recent growth in the Dow has been put down to a series of strong corporate results in the current earnings season.
Apple’s stock was up by more than 6% alone on Wednesday – with investor concerns about a potential delay to the iPhone 8 release apparently being eased by the company’s forecasts of higher revenue in the current quarter.
Apple’s latest revenue figures also impressed, while there have also been gains for shares of other Dow stocks including Boeing, McDonald’s and Verizon in recent days.
According to Factset, companies in the more broad S&P 500 earned 9.1% more between March and June compared with the same three month period a year ago.
The earnings boom has helped fuel a series of records in the last couple of weeks for all three major US stock indices, which also includes the tech-heavy Nasdaq.
Image: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
But some market participants caution that the US stock market boom will have a limited shelf life.
Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital, said: “It’s not the fastest 1,000 point run – it’s taken a lot longer than the 24 sessions it took to get from 20k to 21k – but it’s indicative of a bull market speeding to a top.
“The Dow is now up more than 11% this year, while the Nasdaq is up more than 18%.
“But August is usually not a great month for stocks – up 5 times in the last 20 – so there is caution about how long this can be sustained beyond earnings season euphoria.”
The recovery in values since the financial crisis has largely been built on the proceeds of quantitative easing – the printing of new money through the purchase of assets, including bonds, to maintain the flow of money behind economic recovery.
The US central bank confirmed in June that it was making preparations to begin unwinding the $4.2tn worth of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities on its balance sheet while interest rates are being gradually raised.