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Dow closes above 22,000 for the first time

CNBC logo CNBC 8/2/2017 Fred Imbert
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The Dow Jones industrial average notched another milestone Wednesday, closing above 22,000 for the first time.

The 30-stock index topped that level after receiving a boost from Apple's stock, which surged 4.7 percent Wednesday after the company posted quarterly results that blew expectations out of the water.

The Dow gained 52 points to close at 22,016. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes ended little changed, giving up early gains.

Apple reported earnings per share of $1.67 on revenue of $45.4 billion. Analysts polled by Reuters expected earnings per share of $1.57 on revenue of $44.89 billion.

Drexel Hamilton analyst Brian White said in a note he sees more upside for the stock moving forward. He said: "We believe investors will now feel more confident in owning the stock for the upcoming iPhone 8 cycle that is expected to begin this fall, while also benefitting from the company's capital distribution initiative, attractive valuation and potential new innovations."

If White's assessment is correct, that could mean further gains for the Dow as well. Entering Wednesday's session, Apple's stock was the sixth-largest in terms of price. The Dow is a price-weighted index.

It took the Dow just 107 trading days to surge to 22,000 from 21,000. Boeing shares have had the biggest points impact on the price-weighted Dow, contributing 380.29 points since March 1, followed by McDonald's and UnitedHealth Group with 171.14 and 166.35 points, respectively.

"We've come a long way in a very short period of time," said Brent Schutte, chief investment strategist at Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management. "I think people are now focusing on the macro news, especially on the jobs report."

Wall Street also set its sights on key economic data. Private U.S. companies added 178,000 jobs last month, according to a report from ADP and Moody's Analytics. But economist polled by Reuters expected an increase of 185,000 jobs.

"At least according to ADP, job growth still remains good and certainly better than what the BLS has said. The BLS estimate for the private sector is 180k on Friday," said Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group, in a note.

"Either way, job growth north of 150k is still enough to put continued downward pull on the unemployment rate and Friday's estimate is for a one tenth decline to 4.3% which would match the lowest level since 2001 and more reason for [quantitative tightening] to start in September," Boockvar said.

Investors have been keeping a close eye on U.S. economic data as they look for clues on when the Federal Reserve will further tighten monetary policy. Wall Street is largely expecting the Fed to hold off on raising interest rates again until at least December, but is expecting the central bank to start rolling off its massive balance sheet next month.

U.S. Treasury yields rose on Wednesday, with the benchmark 10-year yield near 2.26 percent and the two-year yield around 1.359 percent.

In the commodities market, U.S. crude prices fluctuated between gains and losses ahead of the Energy Information Administration's weekly release of inventories data. West Texas Intermediate futures traded at $49.24 a barrel as of 9:07 a.m. in New York.

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