Today's data summary

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As of 19:27 21 Jul 2018

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Microsoft shares hit record

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Shares in Microsoft are the biggest winners on the Dow Jones Industrial Average so far today.

At one stage shares hit an all-time high, but fell back to trade 2.2% higher.

Investors were happy about the latest results from the software giant, which showed strong growth at its cloud computing division, called Azure.

Shares in Microsoft have almost doubled in value since Satya Nadella took over as chief executive in 2014.

"Our early investments in the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge are paying off, and we will continue to expand our reach in large and growing markets with differentiated innovation," Mr Nadella told analysts on Thursday.

Wall Street seeks direction

Wall Street's main indexes are treading water so far. After the first few minutes of trading, the Dow Jones is up 18 points at 25,138. The broader-based S&P 500 is 11 points up at 2,809, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq has fallen six points to 7,849.

Wall Street closes higher on Fed chief's comments

Wall Street stocks closed higher after the Federal Reserve chief offered an optimistic appraisal of the US economy.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.6% to 7,855.12, a fresh record. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.2% to close at 25,121.83, while the S&P 500 advanced 0.4% to 2,810.07.

Earlier Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told the Senate Banking Committee the US was doing well, and that an era of stable growth may continue, provided the Fed gets its policy decisions right.

He also discounted risks from protectionist trade policies.

Wall Street edges higher at open

NYSE traders

Trading has just got under way on Wall Street, with the main indexes all inching higher.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.1% at 25,034.01.

The S&P 500 index also opened 0.1% higher at 2,801.31 while the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.2% to 7,837.82.

Cisco shares plunge on Amazon announcement

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Shares in US telecoms and networking giant Cisco have plunged following a news report stating that Amazon is intending to start selling its own own network switches.

Sources told news site The Information that Amazon Web Services wants to sell unbranded data centre switches to business customers.

Shares in other enterprise IT equipment providers Juniper Networks and Arista Networks also fell on the news, due to fears Amazon could pose a threat to the whole sector.

At the moment, Cisco is down 4.5% to $41.64, while Juniper Networks fell 2.2% to $27.88, and Arista Networks dropped 4.4% to $266.06.

Bank earning results drag down Wall Street

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Wall Street shares are still mixed, and gains earlier on the S&P 500 index have now reversed due to losses in financial stocks.

Wells Fargo has dropped 3.7% to $53.97 after its profits and revenues declined in the second quarter due to the fake accounts scandal.

Citigroup is down 3% to $66.45, after its second-quarter revenue missed analysts' expectations.

American Express has fallen 1.1% to $100.01, after announcing it had filed a patent for a proof-of-payment system based on blockchain technology.

JPMorgan Chase has slipped 0.7% to $106.16.

The bank reported higher profits that beat expectations, however, yesterday a JPMorgan whistleblower was awarded a record $30m by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, for alerting US regulators to a mutual fund scam run by the bank in 2011.

Wall Street mixed on open

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Wall Street shares were mixed on open, as US President Donald Trump's comments on Theresa May's Brexit comments dampened gains in technology and retail stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is currently only 17.6 points or 0.07% higher to 24,942.52, led by pharmaceutical giant Merck, which rose 1.2% to $62.66 after announcing an agreement with Chinese firm Xian Janssen to launch a new drug treating type 2 diabetes.

The S&P 500 has climbed 24.3 points or 0.9% to 2,798.29. Top of the winners is US apparel and footwear retailer VF, which is up 2% to $85.35 after its stock was rated "buy" by Deutsche Bank yesterday.

And finally, the tech-heavy Nasdaq is flat - 1 points or 0.01% ahead to 7,824.77, led by Electronic Arts, which climbed 1.6% to $151.04 on the news it acquired Industrial Toys, the video game developer that co-created the Halo franchise.

Tech stocks hit record highs

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Tech stocks are now hitting record highs.

Shares in social network Facebook have climbed about 2% to an all-time high of $206.35, while Amazon stocks are up 1.8% to a record $1,785, and Microsoft has climbed 2.2% to a record $104.29.

Google owner Alphabet has risen 2.3% to $1,198.30, which is not far from its record $1,198.96 on 20 June, while Apple stocks are up 1.7% to $191.09.

Netflix on the other hand has slid 1.5% to $412.34 following a downgrade from UBS, despite topping all other TV networks for Emmy nominations.

Wall Street slightly ahead

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Wall Street shares have been slowly advancing today, as rises in technology and industrial stocks due to optimism from earnings results have helped to offset fears about a worsening US-China trade war.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is currently 175.4 points or 0.7% ahead to 24,875.85, led by networking technology giant Cisco, which has risen 1.8% to $43.35.

The S&P 500 is 14 points or 0.5% up to 2,788.11. Top of the winners is CA Technologies, which has jumped an epic 18.1% to $43.96 on the news that it is being acquired by chipmaker Broadcom.

And finally, the tech-heavy Nasdaq is 69 points or 0.9% higher to 7,787.07, led by CA Technologies and Texas Instruments, which is up 3.8% to $116.05.

Papa John's shares set to rise after chairman quits

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It looks like investors are happy that the founder and chairman of US pizza company Papa John's has resigned.

Shares in the Nasdaq-listed business are up nearly 2% in pre-market trading.

John Schnatter stepped down from the company after using the N-word during a conference call.

He apologised.

Last year, Schnatter quit as Papa John's chief executive after he blamed NFL players' national anthem protests for slow pizza sales.

The company apologised.