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Overnight Markets: Dow Jones and S&P 500 close at record highs

Overnight Markets: Dow Jones and S&P 500 close at record highs

The Dow and the S&P 500 finished at record highs on Tuesday as data showed expansion in US manufacturing and better-than-expected sales for major US automakers.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 129 points or 0.77%, to end at 16,956. The S&P 500 gained 13 points or 0.67%, to 1,973. The Nasdaq Composite shot up 50 points or 1.14%, to 4,459.

On the first trading day of both the third quarter and the second half, the blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average came close to the 17,000 milestone in early afternoon trading, rising slightly over 1% to 16,999. The rally was led by IBM (IBM.N), up 2.8%, and Visa Inc (V.N), up 1.7%.

Financial data firm Markit said its final US Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index rose to 57.3 in June, the highest since May 2010, although it was slightly lower than the preliminary read of 57.5.

A report from the Institute for Supply Management showed its index of national factory activity was at 55.3, little changed from May's 55.4 reading.

Shares of Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) added 7.4% after Goldman Sachs raised its rating on the streaming video company's shares to "buy" from "neutral", according to theflyonthewall.com.

Twitter (TWTR.N) shares jumped 2.6% on news that a former Goldman Sachs (GS.N) executive would become the company's new chief financial officer while current CFO Mike Gupta will become senior vice president of strategic investments.

Shares of credit and debit card companies rose after Elvira Nabiullina, the chairwoman of Russia's central bank, said Russia may reduce pledges imposed on MasterCard and Visa if they find local processing partners. MasterCard shares (MA.N) climbed 2.8%.

In Asia, shares gained on Wednesday in late morning trade after reports showing manufacturing expansion in the world’s two biggest economies sent US equity gauges to records.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.6% to 147 as of 10:37 a.m. in Tokyo. Japan’s Topix index advanced 0.5%, taking its three-day gain to 2.4%.

South Korea’s Kospi index climbed 0.7%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index increased 1.1%, while New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index added 0.1%. Taiwan’s Taiex index rose 0.6%, while Singapore’s Straits Times Index added 0.4%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index advanced 0.7% as markets reopened following a holiday.

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