The Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly broke above the 23,000-point mark for the first time on Tuesday, driven by strong earnings from UnitedHealth and Johnson & Johnson, but finished the session just below that milestone.
The blue-chip index, which surpassed similar 1,000-point marks three times previously this year, has been steadily inching higher and is up 2.6 percent so far this month, putting it on track for a seventh straight monthly advance.
Still, the Dow may in the near term have a difficult time sustaining a move above 23,000, said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth in New York.
"My view is it may pull back before staying above" that level. "It may take several days or a couple of weeks," he said.
"Right now, you`re contending with earnings season and the fact that the market has run up leading up into the earnings season," Pavlik said.
Shares of the largest U.S. health insurer UnitedHealth
Johnson & Johnson
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.dji> rose 40.48 points, or 0.18 percent, to end at 22,997.44 after rising as high as 23,002.20.
The S&P 500 <.spx> gained 1.72 points, or 0.07 percent, to 2,559.36. and the Nasdaq Composite <.ixic> dropped 0.35 point, or 0.01 percent, to 6,623.66.
Also boosting some health insurers and U.S. hospital operators was news of a bipartisan deal in the U.S. Senate to stabilise Obamacare. Shares of Anthem
Financials were the biggest drag on the S&P 500, with shares of Goldman Sachs
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.37-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.72-to-1 ratio favoured decliners.
About 5.5 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges. That compares with the 5.9 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters data.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)