Dow Jones rises to near 35,000; S&P and Nasdaq hit intraday highs

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July 12 (UPI) — The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed near 35,000 as some big-name stocks turned in strong performances ahead of second quarter earnings reports.

The blue-chip index gained 126.02 points, or 0.36%, to 34,996.18 at the end of trading, while the S&P 500 gained 0.35% and the Nasdaq Composite closed up 0.21% as both indexes hit intraday highs.

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Disney stock helped lead the way for the Dow, gaining 4.16% after its film Black Widow topped the U.S. box office, earning $80 million.

The figure was the highest domestic box office debut since the COVID-19 pandemic, while the company added an additional $60 million from sales on its streaming service Disney+.

Goldman Sachs stock gained 2.36% and JPMorgan Chase stock increased 1.42% as they prepared to be among the first companies to report their earnings on Tuesday.

“Most investors are expecting blockbuster earnings results and these will likely be peak earnings results,” Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Cresset Wealth Advisors, said. “The most important element of these reports this week will be the outlook discussion from management and not necessarily the numbers of the last three months.”

Financials was also the strongest performing sector on the S&P 500, and Tesla stock gained 4.38% to help lead the Nasdaq higher.

Virgin Galactic stock plummeted 17.3% after the company completed its first fully crewed flight on Sunday with CEO Richard Branson on board.

Canaccord Genuity analyst Ken Herbert, however, told Investor’s Business Daily the flight “is a massive marketing coup for Virgin Galactic that will be impossible for the public to ignore.”

AMC stock, which has been the best-performing of the so-called “meme stocks” targeted by Reddit investors, fell 7.74%, while GameStop stock dropped 0.97%.