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US: S&P 500, Nasdaq end at records as technology shares gain


[NEW YORK] The S&P 500 and Nasdaq added to records on Tuesday, with technology shares leading the way following strong earnings from Netflix.

The tech-rich Nasdaq ended at a record for the third straight session, gaining 0.7 per cent to reach 7,460.29 at the closing bell.

The broad-based S&P 500 also finished at a the third straight all-time high, gaining 0.2 per cent to 2,839.13. But the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped a hair to 26,210.81.

The latest records come amid a corporate earnings reporting season that has featured expectations for higher profits in the wake of US tax cuts enacted in December.

"What we're really seeing is confidence build from companies and from consumers," said Maris Ogg of Tower Bridge Associates.

Netflix was the day's biggest earnings winner among prominent companies, surging 10 per cent after reporting better-than-expected gains in its global subscriber base and a quarterly profit that nearly tripled from a year ago.

The results were propelled by popular original programs such including "The Crown" and "Stranger Things."

The Netflix report also raised confidence in other technology companies that will report results in the coming weeks. Amazon, Facebook and Priceline all gained at least two per cent.

But members of the blue-chip Dow index reporting profits had a mixed day, with Travelers surging 5.0 per cent, Johnson & Johnson losing 4.3 per cent, and Procter & Gamble shedding 3.1 per cent. General Electric, which reports Wednesday morning, jumped 4.5 per cent.

Kimberly Clark, which makes Kleenex and Huggies paper products, gained 0.8 percent after announcing it would cut up to 5,500 jobs worldwide in a cost-cutting effort.

Toymakers Mattel surged 10.4 per cent and Hasbro 4.1 per cent. The two companies periodically have been seen as potential merger partners.


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