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US: Dow extends streak, eyes 22,000 for 1st time


[NEW YORK] The Dow added to records early Tuesday, flirting with 22,000 points for the first time, following solid international economic data amid renewed hopes that Washington will cut taxes.

About 20 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 21,951.79, up 0.3 per cent after earlier getting to within 12 points of 22,000. The blue-chip index has finished at records the last four days.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 0.2 per cent to 2,474.40, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index won 0.1 per cent to 6,356.96.

Analysts attributed the gains to strong data, including reports showing eurozone growth accelerated slightly in the second quarter and Chinese manufacturing activity rose in July.

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In the US, a key measure of inflation was flat in June for the second straight month, while the annual rate declined.

President Donald Trump took credit for the latest run of stock market records on Twitter.

"Stock Market could hit all-time high (again) 22,000 today. Was 18,000 only 6 months ago on Election Day. Mainstream media seldom mentions!" Mr Trump tweeted.

Analysts in recent weeks have attributed the stock market gains largely to better economic data and earnings, more than expectations for public policy.

Many analysts have downgraded the odds Washington will enact a tax cut this year after Mr Trump's efforts to reform health care failed.

But analyst said there was greater optimism on Tuesday following the appointment of General John Kelly as White House chief of staff, perhaps signaling an end to the chaos.

"More than a few talking heads we heard also suggested that Mr Kelly's leadership style raises the chances of getting a tax reform deal done," Mr O'Hare said.

"That may be giving a little more credit than is due at the moment since Mr Kelly doesn't run the House or the Senate, but we shall see."