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Dow Tops 40,000 For The First Time As Wall Street Drifts

NEW YORK (AP) — The Dow Jones Industrial Average topped the 40,000 level for the first time Thursday, as U.S. stocks drifted around their records set a day before.

The Dow was up 69 points, or 0.2%, at 39,967, in afternoon trading. It topped 40,000 earlier in trading, making its last leap of 10,000 points in about three and a half years, as the U.S. economy and corporate profits crawled out of the crash caused COVID-19. They’ve continued to hold up so far despite the worst inflation in decades, the punishing effects of high interest rates and worries about a recession that seemed inevitable but hasn’t arrived.

The S&P 500 index, which is much more widely followed on Wall Street and dictates the performance of many more 401(k) accounts than the Dow, was 0.1% higher, as of 1:22 p.m. Eastern time. The Nasdaq composite was down 0.1%. They had rallied on Wednesday to all-time highs.

Walmart was one of the strongest forces lifting the market, and it rose 6.5% after reporting stronger profit for the latest quarter than analysts expected. It also said its revenue for the year could top the forecasted range it had earlier given.

Walmart’s strength could be an encouraging signal for the broader economy. Worries have been rising about whether U.S. households can keep up with still-high inflation, even if it’s not as bad as before, and more expensive credit-card payments, particularly those making lower incomes.

Target, which reports its quarterly results next week, climbed following Walmart’s report, along with other retailers like Dollar General and Dollar Tree. Each added at least 2.9%.

Chubb climbed 4.2% after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway disclosed it had built an ownership stake in the insurer.


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