Healthcare stocks boost Dow, S&P 500

Federal Hall's George Washington statue stands near the flag-covered pillars of the New York Stock Exchange. Stocks are off to a mixed start on Wall Street Tuesday Oct. 17 2017 as gains for health

The S&P 500 gained 4.3 points, or 0.16 percent, to 2,563.66.

Wall Street opened quietly on Tuesday as positive results from big investment banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley failed to fuel the optimism that has led the major indexes to record highs.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose again above the 23,000 level on Wednesday, driven by a jump in IBM after the computing giant hinted at a return to revenue growth.

The gains have been driven by stronger than expected earnings for many US companies, as well as the hopes of those companies that President Trump's tax reform plan could lower taxes on them. The report, due at 2:00 p.m. ET (1800 GMT), will likely show if inflation pressures are accelerating.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 114.49 points, or 0.5 percent, to 23,111.93.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 34.74 points to 15,782.16.

Over the past three months, the Dow has risen 13pc, with a slew of upbeat earnings driving it ever higher.

Abbott rose 1.3 percent after the company's profit beat estimates on strong sales in its medical devices business.

Chipotle Mexican Grill CMG.N slipped 1.85 percent after Bank of America Merrill downgraded the company's stock to "underperform" and slashed its price target by $105 to $285.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.51-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.77-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

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