The Dow broke above the 22,000 threshold for the first time on Wednesday, putting the blue-chip index on track for its seventh straight daily rise even as the broader market pulled back on weakness in telecom and consumer-discretionary shares.
Major indexes opened higher a day after Apple Inc.
posted stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings and iPhone sales that met expectations. Its stock rose 4.9% and hit a record in its biggest one-day percentage rise since February.
The tech giant is the market’s largest stock by market value, which means it has an outsize weight on the overall moves of all three major indexes.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
rose 44 points, or 0.2%, to 22,008, with gains powered almost entirely by Apple. Earlier, the average touched an intraday high of 22,036.10. If the blue-chip index ends higher, it would mark its sixth straight closing record.
The S&P 500
was off by 2 points, or 0.1%, at 2,474, with eight of the 11 primary S&P sectors down on the day. Telecom shares shed 1.5%, real estate shares fell 0.7%, and consumer-discretionary shares fell 0.4%.
The Nasdaq Composite Index
declined 6 points, or 0.1%, to 6,357. The tech-heavy Nasdaq had previously risen as much as 0.5% on the day.
Wall Street remains solidly higher for 2017, with major indexes having hit a series of records. However, the rally has left valuations stretched.
“People are saying the move has been overdone, but they’ve been saying that for a while,” said Brian Jacobsen, chief portfolio strategist at Wells Fargo Funds Management. “Valuations do look stretched relative to historical norms, but investors are looking a little farther out, and valuations don’t look that bad in that context.”
“Overall, earnings have been coming in good this season, with stocks beating on revenue and profits,” Jacobsen said. “The fact that the market is still reacting to that in a positive way tells me that stocks aren’t in a bubble, that there’s fundamental support.”
Apple has been one of the market’s biggest gainers thus far this year, up 36%. The results could provide support to the idea that technology stock valuations are justified by their levels of growth.
Adding to the positive tone on the day, private-sector hiring remained strong in July as employers added 178,000 jobs in the month, more than had been expected, according to ADP. The report is often watched for clues to the strength of official employment data, though the correlation between the ADP figures and government data is weak.
Investors are in a holding pattern while they digest the ADP numbers in advance of the Friday jobs report, said Bill Stone, global chief investment strategist at PNC Management Group. Apple is an outlier Wednesday as many investors were expecting the tech giant to have a tough quarter, Stone said.
“Everybody’s waiting for Friday for more indication of what the Fed may do,” Stone said in an interview. Of particular interest will be average hourly wages, Stone said, because if they rise, it will be an indication that inflation may not be as soft as expected, and support the argument for more tightening from the central bank.
Mondelez International Inc.
topped earnings forecasts and said its CEO Irene Rosenfeld will step down effective November. Shares rose 0.1%.
Time Warner Inc.
rose 0.1% after its earnings easily beat forecasts.
Shares of Molson Coors Brewing Co.
gained 1.9% after its results.
In Federal Reserve news, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said the Fed should keep its slow tightening pace even with soft inflation.
San Francisco Fed president John Williams will talk about monetary policy in Las Vegas, Nev., at 3:30 p.m. Eastern.
—Sara Sjolin in London contributed to this article.