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Dow closes above 22,000 for the first time

Stock markets all-time high

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 22,000 points for the first time, with the blue-chip index reaching the milestone just five months after reaching 21,000.

Stocks rose at the opening bell on Wednesday, led by a jump in shares of Apple (AAPL), which reported its second-best revenue in the company's history. The tech giant on Tuesday reported strong iPad and Mac sales. 

The Dow jumped 47 points, or 0.22 percent, topping 22,011 in early trading, a new record, before retreating below 22,000 -- but it bounced back in the afternoon trading session to close at 22,016.  The Standard & Poor's 500 index closed slightly higher at 2,477 points. The Nasdaq composite closed lower at 6,362.

Wednesday's gains represent the seventh consecutive day of gains for the Dow and S&P 500, coming at a time when economic data is mixed and auto sales have disappointed. But corporate earnings have been strong, which may be giving investors confidence in the market.

"The Dow hitting 22,000 is symbolically important, but the real story is never an arbitrary number," said Mike Loewengart, vice president of investment strategy at E*Trade, in a statement. "It's the underlying strength that is pushing markets this high."

Nevertheless, he said investors should view the market with "cautious optimism," citing a concerns that economic indicators such as wages and low unemployment can keep pace with corporate growth. 

President Trump is touting the stock market's gains as evidence that his policies are paying off. By contrast, the U.S. economy isn't yet meeting the goals set by the Trump administration, which has aimed for sustained growth of 4 percent. 

GDP expanded at a 2.6 percent annual rate in the April-June quarter, double the revised pace posted in the first quarter, but not as rosy as Trump has promised. 

Apple said its earnings climbed 12 percent to $8.7 billion in the company's latest quarter amid rising demand for iPhones, while the iPad snapped out of more than three-year sales slump. Revenue increased 7 percent from last year to $45.4 billion. The results exceeded analysts' estimates

Investors were also cheered by Apple's forecast that revenue for its current quarter ending in September will range from $49 billion to $52 billion. That's better than Apple's performance last year when its popular line of iPhone 7 phones came out.