Dow ends January with a rally, extends winning streak

Wall Street moved higher Wednesday, capping a strong run in January and clinching the Dow’s best winning streak since 1959. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 72 points to 26,149. The S&P 500 advanced 1.4 points to 2,823. The Nasdaq Composite was up 9 points at 7,411. Despite a pullback to start the week, the Dow and S&P 500 completed their best January performances since 2016. The indexes also posted their 10th consecutive monthly gains—the strongest run in nearly 60 years. The Nasdaq has seven straight monthly gains to its credit. “Equities continue to drift upward, achieving returns in the first four weeks of the year that are often typical for an entire year,” U.S. Bank Wealth Management chief equity strategist Terry Sandven wrote in a note to clients this week. “While year-to-date performance is superb, the data still seems supportive of higher stock prices.” Stocks pulled back slightly later in Wednesday’s session after the Federal Reserve signaled a possible interest rate hike in March. The central bank also raised its inflation forecast, encouraged by low unemployment and stronger household spending. Wednesday marked the end of the final two-day policy meeting Opens a New Window. under Chair Janet Yellen, who will be replaced by Jerome Powell in February. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury bond dipped slightly to 2.722% from 2.725%. Yields fall as bond prices rise. West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose 23 cents, or 0.4%, to $64.73 a barrel. AT&T (T) shares jumped in after-hours trading, as the telecommunications giant beat Wall Street’s estimates for fourth-quarter earnings. Microsoft (MSFT) and Facebook (FB) also reported better earnings than expected.

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