Wall Street stocks finish at all-time highs; Dow hits 5th straight record

A video board displays the numbers after the closing bell of the Dow Industrial Average at the New York Stock Exchange on Nov 8, 2017.
A video board displays the numbers after the closing bell of the Dow Industrial Average at the New York Stock Exchange on Nov 8, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street inched to another trifecta of record closes on Wednesday (Nov 8), with the Dow finishing at its fifth straight all-time high.

The record finishes for all three indices nevertheless capped a day of uncertain movement, with stocks opening lower before haltingly edging higher.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the session a hair's breadth higher at 23,563.36, up less than a tenth of a percent, while the broader S&P 500 gained 0.1 percent to close at 2,594.38.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq saw stronger gains, adding 0.3 percent to settle at 6,789.12.

Investors marked a year since Trump's victory in the 2016 elections, sparked a Wall Street rally. The upbeat mood on the markets has sent the Dow and Nasdaq up about 30 percent, and the S&P 500 up 20 percent.

But analyst Hugh Johnson told AFP the fears about the fate of corporate tax cuts - a key plank of the Trump and Republican agendas - had blunted investor appetite.

The rally is "stalling out because there is still concerns of whether we will get cuts on corporate taxes," he said, so "The market becomes pretty trendless." The Washington Post reported late Wednesday that Senate Republicans were considering delaying the rollout of its version of the tax plan, that had been expected Thursday, amid intense criticism of the House plan.

Meanwhile, sources confirmed to AFP that the US Justice Department told Time Warner to sell Turner Broadcasting, the group of cable channels including CNN, as a condition of its merger with the telecom giant AT&T.

AT&T finished up 1.2 per cent while Time Warner plunged 6.5 percent on the news.

Shares in social media firm Snap nosedived 14.6 per cent a day after the company forecast slow revenue and user growth. The company also said China's Tencent had bought a 12 per cent stake in the company.