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Dow surges to first finish atop 35,000 as investors cheer corporate profits

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The Dow closed above 35,000 for the first time Friday, with investors heartened by another round of upbeat corporate profits that helped assuage concerns about the latest wave of COVID-19 cases denting the economy's recovery.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 238.20 points, or 0.7%, to end at 35,061.55, leaving the blue-chip index up more than 14% for the year and entering — for now — record territory.   

"Dow milestones are largely just symbolic, but they do generate headlines and can boost retail investor sentiment," noted Sean Bandazian, investment analyst for Cornerstone Wealth, in emailed comments. "35,000 represents another one of those symbolic milestones for the market, especially when you consider the index fell below 20,000 just over a year ago" in the early months of the pandemic.

The S&P 500-stock index rose 1.01% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite rose 1.04%, with both market benchmarks finishing at record heights. 

U.S. equities are drawing a lift from robust earnings, with the technology sector in particular rallying after better-than-anticipated second-quarter results on Thursday from Twitter and Snap. 

Shares of American Express leapt after it reported big jumps in consumer spending a record count of new converts to its upscale Platinum card in the quarter. 

While the fast spread of the Delta variant has unsettled parts of the market, investors were able to end the week hopeful for corporate America and earnings growth in the coming quarters. 

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