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Stocks hit NEW RECORDS as earnings fuel gains

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Stocks touch new records as earnings fuel gains

IBM, Netflix and Johnson & Johnson all reported

U.S. equity markets opened higher Wednesday, with two major indexes breaking records, as corporate earnings continued to exceed expectations.

So far, 51 companies, or 10 percent of the S&P 500, have reported their results with 71 percent beating on both earnings and revenue, according to Refinitiv.

Both the Nasdaq and S&P 500 touched all-time highs, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was within striking distance of a record.

IBM reported better-than-expected results and raised its 2020 outlook.

Netflix beat on both the top and bottom lines, but its subscriber growth in the U.S. fell short of expectations.

Johnson & Johnson was lower after reporting fourth-quarter revenue that missed Wall Street estimates.

Elsewhere, Boeing remained near its lowest level in a year after the planemaker pushed back the timeline Tuesday for the 737 Max’s return to service.

Tesla shares rallied to record highs after Wedbush analyst Dan Ives raised his price target to $550 from $370, citing underlying strength in China.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil slid 1.4 percent to $57.57 a barrel after International Energy Agency Executive Director Fatih Birol said U.S. shale production will lead to an “abundance of energy supply in terms of oil and gas,” according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, gold slipped 0.1 percent to $1,556 an ounce.

U.S. Treasurys were fractionally lower, causing the yield on the 10-year note to climb by 1 basis point to 1.779 percent.

In Europe, Britain’s FTSE fell 0.3 percent while Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC were little changed.

Markets rallied across Asia with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng up 1.3 percent, Japan’s Nikkei higher by 0.7 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite gaining 0.3 percent.

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