Wall Street rises to records as Trump ignites tax cut hopes

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Wall Street's three main indexes hit record highs on Thursday after President Donald Trump said he would make a major tax announcement in a few weeks."Lowering the overall tax burden on American business is big league," Trump said during a White House meeting with airline industry executives. U.S. stocks have rallied since Trump's Nov. 8 election amid expectations he will not only usher in lower corporate taxes, but also reduced regulations and increased infrastructure spending. The rally had stagnated in recent days as investors seek details about Trump's economic policy agenda. Financials . SPSY, which have soared since the election, were the best-performing group, up 1.3 percent after three sessions of declines, while energy shares . SPNY gained 0.9 percent. Those sectors stand to benefit should lower taxes spur economic activity as interest rates and the demand for energy rise, said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank, in Cleveland. “Given the groups that responded and the enthusiasms within the market, it seems to be the tax comments that lit off the rally today," said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank, in Cleveland. But, McCain said, “when you get to these levels of market sentiment, usually the returns are much more modest and you’re much more subject to a pullback."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average . DJI rose 134.14 points, or 0.67 percent, to 20,188.48, the S&P 500 . SPX gained 14.72 points, or 0.64 percent, to 2,309.39 and the Nasdaq Composite . IXIC added 37.58 points, or 0.66 percent, to 5,720.03. All three indexes hit new intraday all-time highs. The utilities sector . SPLRCU, which is considered a defensive bet, fell 0.9 percent, the worst-performing group.

The focus on Washington comes with U.S. companies in the midst of their corporate reporting season. With about 70 percent of the S&P 500 having reported results, fourth-quarter earnings are on track to have climbed 8.5 percent, which would be the best performance since the third quarter of 2014, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Shares of Viacom (VIAB. O), Kellogg (K. N) and Prudential (PRU. N) all gained after their respective quarterly results. Coca-Cola (KO. N) forecast a surprise drop in full-year profit. Its shares fell 2.4 and were the biggest drag on the Dow and the S&P.

Repubican Hensarling plans to ease Wall Street rules: memo WASHINGTON The Republican leader of the House Financial Services Committee plans to scale back banking reforms, curb the consumer finance agency and ease regulations on financial institutions and companies looking to raise capital, according to a proposal seen by Reuters on Thursday.

Coca-Cola forecasts drop in 2017 profit amid refranchising Coca-Cola Co forecast a surprise drop in full-year profit as costs related to refranchising its U.S. bottling operations are expected to be higher than previously anticipated.

Fed's Bullard says rates can remain low through 2017 ST. LOUIS U.S. interest rates can likely remain low through at least 2017, with no clear sense yet of whether the Trump administration's policies will spark higher inflation or growth, St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard said on Thursday.