Earnings focus propels stocks rally, Dow tops 26000

The latest 1,000 point milestone move broke the previous record of 23 sessions when the Dow moved from 24,000 to 25,000 points.

US stocks traded sharply higher as investors chased a market breaking out on better-than-expected earnings and rising economic optimism under President Donald Trump.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 8 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,777 as of 2:31 p.m.

UnitedHealth rose 2.5 percent after the largest USA health insurer reported results that beat estimates and raised its 2018 earnings outlook.

- Intel Corp has been the largest percentage decliner since January 4, down 2.9 percent, followed by Verizon Communications Inc, down 1.8 percent. At 9:41am ET (14:41 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 225.34 points, or 0.87 percent, at 26,028.53, helping it record its fastest 1,000-point rise.

Paper and packaging group Smurfit Kappa was among the climbers, adding 0.8 per cent to €28.92, while Bank of Ireland added 1.1 per cent to €7.97.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 gained 0.1%, while shares in Asia mostly rose. S&P 500 companies are projected to grow earnings by a double-digit percentage, and several investors said they are focusing most on what executives say they expect for 2018, particularly following the passage of the Republican tax overhaul.

Case Keenum 'excited nervous' for first career playoff start
I firmly believe whoever wins this game will not only represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, they will hoist the Lombardi Trophy. He had two TDs and 93 yards in opener against Saints . "You can see him getting the ball to a lot of different guys".

The latest leg up in stock prices has been driven by more than just investor exuberance, however.

The slide in oil prices weighed on energy sector stocks.

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

BOND YIELDS: Bond prices rose.

Amazon rose more than two per cent, extending gains from last week when data showed U.S. holiday spending surged to a 12-year high, prompting price target hikes. Other factors fueling the surge this year are the simultaneous growth in economies around the world, and the expected boost to USA company profits and the American economy from the massive cuts.

Japanese stocks rebounded from Monday's selloff, with the Nikkei up 1%, a fresh 26-year high.

Glenveagh Properties rose 0.7 per cent to €1.24 on a day when it announced four senior management appointments.

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