Dow ends at record after strong Caterpillar, 3M earnings

The excellent back-to-back results by Caterpillar and 3M lifted sentiment about industrials in general.

From a sector standpoint, the best performance was being put in by the following industrial groups: Recreational products (4.70%), Aluminum (3.17%) and Leisure goods (2.16%).

The S&P 500 index rose 2.71 points to 2,567.69, while the Nasdaq index edged up 2.15 points to 6,588.97.

The two stocks contributed almost 140 points to the Dow's 170 point rise.

Meanwhile, fellow Dow component 3M Co soared almost 6% after its quarterly earnings call.

Caterpillar gained 5.0 percent after reporting better-than-expected results and lifting its forecast as demand accelerated in construction, mining and other sectors that buy its machinery.

Strong earnings and increasing optimism about President Donald Trump's tax plans have lifted the USA stock market in recent trading sessions. But while the Dow pushed deeper into record-high territory, upside was relatively muted for the Nasdaq Composite ( IXIC ), as weakness in biotech stocks (like Biogen ) offset earnings-driven gains.

Investors are also keeping a watch on any news around the nomination of the new Federal Reserve chief.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7 percent to 23,441.76, its sixth record in seven sessions. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average extended its record-setting streak of daily gains to 16 by closing up 0.5%.

The S&P industrial sector rose 0.75 percent, topping the 11 major S&P indexes.

Biogen slipped 4.61 percent after reporting disappointing United States sales of a potential blockbuster drug, Spinraza.

Whirlpool tumbled 10.02 percent after the home appliances maker reported profit and sales below estimates and lowered full-year earnings guidance.

Centene dipped 6.3 percent after the health insurer said it expected an impact of 7-12 cents per share in the fourth quarter if the subsidies are not received.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.36-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.44-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

Oil prices however rose more than 1% and settled at six month highs in the US.

Vanessa Coleman