UPDATED Dow closes above 20000 for first time

UPDATED Dow closes above 20000 for first time

On Wednesday, the benchmark US index of blue chip stocks pierced the 20,000-point mark for the first time.

The Dow's rewriting of the record books also kicks off a debate as to whether the new record marks the start of a new up leg for the almost 8-year-old bull market?

Qualcomm weighed on both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq as the chipmaker fell 5.7 per cent to $US53.82 after posting a lower-than-expected rise in quarterly revenue.

The Dow Jones industrial average is trading over 20,000 points for the first time, the latest milestone in a record-setting drive for the stock market. These strong results gave the impression of an economy on the rise.

President Donald Trump has rolled out orders overturning Obama policies every day this week, including moves to pull out of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), and a move to easy regulatory burdens on businesses.

Trump met with union heads and automakers this week to push for more jobs and manufacturing in the US, approved the construction of two massive pipelines, and is expected to sign an executive order later on Wednesday to confirm his intent to build a wall along the nation's border with Mexico.

Asia kept a global equities rally going, with stocks in Tokyo and South Korea advancing after the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed past 20,000 for the first time.

Konta's learning curve continues against Serena
Said Mouratoglou on an ESPN television interview: "I saw [Konta] play early this year, and she's one of the players who impressed me the most".

The S&P 500 was up 0.42 points, or 0.01 percent, at 2,298.79.

U.S. Treasury yields were a touch higher on the day, while Germany's 10-year bond yields, the benchmark for the euro zone, hit a one-year high of 0.48 percent and France's equivalent hit 1 percent. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index slid 0.3 per cent, it fifth straight weekly decline.

Tech giants Intel, Alphabet, Microsoft and Starbucks are scheduled to report after market close.

In official economic news, first-time claims for jobless benefits rose by 22,000 to 259,000 last week. However, the underlying trend remained consistent with tightening labor market conditions.

The second aspect involved the strong October-December earnings among many USA businesses.

Comcast, the parent company of NBC Universal, rose 2.81% after it reported that it beat fourth quarter earnings estimates. Charter was up 6.6 percent at $330.27. On the Big Board, advancers outpaced decliners by 1.8-to-1, and on the Nasdaq, advancers led by 2.4-to-1.