Photographer: Marlene Awaad/Bloomberg
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Dow's Trip Toward 22,000 Brought to You by Boeing, Visa Earnings

  • The two stocks contributed half the gauge’s third-quarter gain
  • Advance building on longest run of quarterly gains since 1997

The Dow Jones Industrial Average’s latest rally toward a round-number milestone is being fueled by a series of earnings-fomented share ignitions at companies from Boeing Co. to Visa Inc.

Helped by the index’s old-fashioned methodology that apportions greater weight to higher-priced stocks, those two companies alone accounted for more than half of the Dow’s 614-point jump since the start of July. UnitedHealth Group Inc., Caterpillar Inc., and Chevron Corp. rounded out the top five, contributing an additional 135 points.

The rally drove the Dow toward 22,000 for the first time as the century-old gauge heads toward an eighth consecutive quarter of gains, the longest winning streak since 1997. Boeing’s 21 percent surge amid its better-than-expected cash flow has exerted an outsize influence, with the stock’s contribution running six times its representation in the Dow.

Among other biggest gainers, Visa has jumped more than 7 percent this quarter as earnings topped analysts’ estimates and the credit-card company boosted its 2017 earnings and revenue targets. UnitedHealth is up almost 4 percent as the biggest U.S. health insurer reported results showing expanded membership and raised its full-year guidance.

A break above 22,000 would the the third round-number milestone for the Dow this year. The gauge sailed past 20,000 on Jan. 25 and crossed 21,000 about a month later. It climbed for a sixth day Tuesday, adding 0.3 percent to 21,963.03.

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