By Sue Chang, MarketWatch , Ryan Vlastelica
Major indexes see record close for 5th session in row
Major U.S. stock indexes closed at records for a fifth session in a row Wednesday, marking the longest record-setting streak for all three benchmarks since January 1992 as President Donald Trump promised a "massive" tax plan in the "not-too-distant future."
"The legs of this rally are based on the expectation for dramatically less regulation and big tax reform in corporate America," said Ian Winer, director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities. "There is a very high expectation for structural changes in the economy to accelerate growth."
See:Stock market notches best record run in quarter-century (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/stock-market-notches-best-record-run-in-quarter-century-2017-02-15)
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 107.45 points, or 0.5%, to finish at 20,611.86. Procter & Gamble Co.(PG) led the blue-chip gauge, jumping after activist investor Trian Fund Management LP disclosed (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/activist-investor-trian-takes-3-billion-stake-in-pg-2017-02-14)a $3 billion stake in the company.
The S&P 500 index gained 11.67 points, or 0.5%, to close at 2,349.25. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 36.87 points, or 0.6%, to end at 5,819.44. The Nasdaq closed at a record for a seventh session, matching the longest such streak for the index since one ended Dec. 27, 1999 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-nasdaq-is-partying-like-its-1999-by-this-metric-2017-02-15).
Trump's latest comments echo his pledge last week to deliver a "phenomenal" tax plan that would be revealed soon. Neither announcement was accompanied by specifics.
Stocks have mostly trended higher since Trump's election in November, with investors betting that the policies he is expected to pursue will accelerate economic growth. A "Goldilocks-like economy" of steady growth and tame inflation is also helping to keep market sentiment buoyant, said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.
Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen appeared to reinforce the market's optimism (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/yellen-may-have-offered-the-clearest-explanation-for-the-stock-markets-record-run-2017-02-15)when she testified in front of the Senate Banking Committee (http://blogs.marketwatch.com/capitolreport/2017/02/15/yellen-testimony-before-the-house-live-blog-and-video/) that investors are expecting a more growth-supportive fiscal policy and a boost corporate earnings. On Tuesday, she had hinted that the central bank could resume a gradual raise interest rates as soon as to it is next to policy meeting in March.
Higher rates have usually deflated the market's zest for stocks, which have benefited from the low-rate environment, but Yellen's upbeat assessment of the economy along with Trump's promises of business-friendly policies, tax cuts and deregulation of the banking sector, has bolstered investor confidence.
In the latest economic data, retail sales rose 0.4% in January (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-retail-sales-sizzle-in-january-2017-02-15), a faster pace than had been expected, while the Consumer Price Index rose 0.6% in the month (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/inflation-surges-in-january-by-most-in-four-years-cpi-shows-2017-02-15), the largest amount in four years, though this was largely due to a rebound in the price of gasoline.
Read:Trump's stock-market rally is annihilating bears (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trumps-phenomenal-stock-market-rally-is-annihilating-bears-2017-02-13)
(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trumps-phenomenal-stock-market-rally-is-annihilating-bears-2017-02-13)Also see:As bulls overrun Wall Street, one bank sees S&P 500 at 3,000 by 2019 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/as-euphoria-overruns-wall-street-one-bank-sees-sp-500-at-3000-by-2019-2017-02-13)
Stocks to watch: Fossil Group Inc. (FOSL) shares sank 15% after quarterly results got hit by currency headwinds (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fossil-shares-sink-15-following-fourth-quarter-earnings-2017-02-14) and the company released downbeat guidance.
Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.(HLT)(HLT) rose1.7% after posting early results, while PepsiCo Inc.(PEP) slid 0.4% after its results.
Fortress Investment Group LLC(FIG) shares popped 29% after Japan's SoftBank Group Corp.(9984.TO) agreed to buy the asset manager for $3.3 billion (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/softbank-bolsters-its-investment-business-with-33-billion-fortress-deal-2017-02-14). (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/softbank-bolsters-its-investment-business-with-33-billion-fortress-deal-2017-02-14)
Several stocks were in focus following fourth-quarter regulatory filings from big investors and hedge funds. Among them, billionaire investor Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc.(BRKA) loaded up on (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/warren-buffetts-big-bet-on-apple-may-have-made-him-11-billion-in-just-six-weeks-2017-02-14)Apple Inc.(AAPL) shares, while shedding shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.(WMT). As previously disclosed, Berkshire Hathaway also took on air carriers, such asSouthwest Airlines Co.(LUV) and Delta Air Lines Inc.(DAL).
Billionaire hedge-fund manager David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital bought (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/einhorn-buys-syngenta-voya-apple-dumps-michael-kors-in-4th-quarter-2017-02-14)Rite Aid Corp.(RAD), Mylan Inc.(MYL) and Apple among others, while unloading a stake in Michael Kors Holdings(KORS).
Meanwhile, George Soros's hedge fund Soros Fund Management (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/george-soros-picks-up-goldman-sachs-dumps-nvidia-2017-02-14) initiated a position in Goldman Sachs Group Inc.(GS) and Pandora Media Inc.(P), and rimmed positions in Amazon.com Inc.(AMZN), eBay Inc.(EBAY) and Netflix Inc.(NFLX) among others.
Read:George Soros and other fund managers fell in love with financials (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/george-soros-and-other-fund-managers-fell-in-love-with-financials-2017-02-15)
Other markets: Asian markets finished mostly higher (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nikkei-other-asian-markets-jump-on-yellens-bullish-comments-2017-02-14), with a 1% gain for the Nikkei 225 index and a 1.2% rise for the Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index inspired by Yellen's comments. European stocks rose, with the FTSE 100 index closing at its highest close in a month (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/financials-drive-ftse-100-to-1-month-high-after-hawkish-yellen-signals-2017-02-15).
The U.S. dollar edged lower (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-pauses-after-yellen-inspired-push-higher-2017-02-15), , while gold prices gained. Oil remained under pressure (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-head-lower-after-data-shows-spike-in-us-supplies-2017-02-15) after the American Petroleum Institute reported a bigger-than-expected climb in U.S. crude supplies, and data from the Energy Information Administration will be due later Wednesday.
--Barbara Kollmeyer contributed to this article.
(END) DowJones Newswires
February 15, 2017 16:35 ET (21:35 GMT)
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