12:48 PM, Oct 20, 2017 — The major US stock indexes climbed on Friday after a Senate budget vote raised the possibility of US tax reform, a key Republican campaign pledge.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard & Poor’s 500 extended their stretches of gains to a sixth consecutive day, while the Nasdaq Composite reversed losses from a day earlier. Lawmakers on Thursday passed the 2018 fiscal budget, which included instructions on passing tax reform measures by a simple majority in the Senate, cutting the chances it could be blocked by Democrats.
Financials gained more than 1% in the strongest advance among the sectors on the S&P 500, while information technology increased 0.7% after PayPal (PYPL) beat third-quarter estimates, sending the shares up 4.4%.
Also in earnings, Dover (DOV) gained 4.8% after the industrial equipment maker reported better-than-expected results for the third quarter while reiterating its earnings guidance for 2017.
While financials helped keep the Dow afloat, earnings from the blue chips that reported Friday weighed. General Electric (GE) fell 2.5% after third quarter earnings missed expectations and the conglomerate cut its outlook for the full year.
Procter & Gamble (PG) fell 3.2% after its fiscal first quarter results came in about in line with investors’ expectations, but sales performance among its segments was mixed.
Pharmaceutical firm Celgene (CELG) plunged 9.9% after the company said Thursday it will end trials on a drug aimed at treating Crohn’s disease.
In afternoon trading, the Dow rose 0.5% while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq gained 0.4% each.
In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was up 0.3% and London’s FTSE 100 was little changed. In Asia, the Nikkei was less than 0.1% higher, the Hang Seng rose 1.2% and the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.3%.
Companies: General Electric Company