Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange. PHOTO: BRYAN R. SMITH/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

The Dow topped 26,000 for the first time Tuesday as stocks continue to climb at the start of 2018 amid rising optimism that tax cuts will boost corporate earnings and the economy.

  • Dow industrials cross 26000
  • Dollar rebounds from three-year low
  • Stocks in Europe rise

The blue-chip stock index assembled more than 280 points in early trading Tuesday morning, exceeding “26K” just 12 calendar days after hitting the 25,000 milestone — the quickest 1,000-point climb in its 121-year history, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.

At its intraday peak Tuesday the Dow was up 283 points at 26,086.12.

Stocks have picked up where they left off in 2017, with investors piling into the market as Wall Street analysts are boosting their projections of how much money U.S. companies will make this year after Congress slashed the corporate tax rate late last year to 21% from 35%.

The Dow, which gained 25.1% last year, is off to a fast start in 2018. Heading into today’s trading action, it was up nearly 1,100 points, or 4.4%.

Some Wall Street experts are starting to worry that investors are getting overly enthusiastic, despite the improving business conditions that are driving stocks higher early in the new year.

“At some point something happens that crystallizes the confidence of investors and makes it seem likely (that the good times) will go on forever — and investors go from positive to all in,” says Brad McMillan, chief investment officer at Commonwealth Financial Network. “We seem to be seeing that now.”

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