Dow opens above 23,000, powered by IBM

(Reuters) - The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened above 23,000 for the first time on Wednesday, powered by IBM, which hinted at a revival in its growth after six years in retreat.

Shares of the world's first big computing company <IBM.N> jumped 7.65 percent, after the company reported quarterly revenue beat.

The blue-chip index had briefly surpassed the milestone on Tuesday but closed 3 points short of the record level. The latest 1,000-point increase was covered in roughly half the time it took the index to move from 21,000 to 22,000.

The S&P and the Nasdaq also notched opening records on gains across the board.

Solid earnings and hopes that President Donald Trump may be able to make progress on tax cuts have helped the market rally this year.

"Looks like it's set for a good start, largely driven by strong earnings and positive economic growth," said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.

"We're in a sweet spot where the economy is growing not too strong and not too weak, the Fed's tightening but not too rapidly and earnings continue to expand. All the news is positive."

The dollar climbed higher, tracking higher U.S. Treasury yields, while news on a potential new hawkish Federal Reserve chair and the slow progress of U.S. tax reforms also supported the greenback. [USD/]

Investors are also awaiting the Fed's issue of the Beige Book, a periodic snapshot on the health of the U.S. economy. The report, due at 2:00 p.m. ET (1800 GMT), will likely show if inflation pressures are accelerating.

At 9:38 a.m. ET (1338 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> was up 116.49 points, or 0.51 percent, at 23,113.93, the S&P 500 <.SPX> was up 3.7 points, or 0.14 percent, at 2,563.06 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> was up 6.91 points, or 0.10 percent, at 6,630.57.

Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, led by a 0.31 percent gain in the financial index <.SPSY>.

Technology index's <.SPLRCT> 0.22 percent rise, led by gains in IBM, was the biggest boost to the S&P index.

Abbott <ABT.N> rose 1.63 percent after the company's profit beat estimates, driven by strong sales in its medical devices business.

Anthem <ANTM.N> gained about 5 percent after the health insurer said it signed an agreement with CVS Health <CVS.N> to support the company's new pharmacy benefit management business.

Chipotle Mexican Grill <CMG.N> slipped 2.19 percent after Bank of America Merrill downgraded the company's stock to "underperform" and slashed its price target by $105 to $285.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,669 to 815. On the Nasdaq, 1,569 issues rose and 746 fell.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Arun Koyyur)

10/18/2017 10:06

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