Dow futures leap 115 points on Caterpillar earnings

3M, Caterpillar earnings boost Dow to another record close

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 47 countries, was on track for its 10th week of gains, and the Dow and S&P 500 hit record highs. Spot gold was up 0.3 per cent at $1,351.86, up 1.5 per cent this week. For the week, the MSCI index was up 2 per cent.

Microsoft rose 1.2 percent and Johnson & Johnson climbed 1.1 percent Thursday. Fourth-quarter gross domestic product increased at a 2.6 per cent annual rate, the Commerce Department reported. The S&P 500 .SPX gained 15.76 points, or 0.56 percent, to 2,855.01.

Intel's (O:) shares jumped more than 9 percent to their highest in nearly two decades, after strong results offered the clearest sign yet that its years-long effort to shift away from a slowing PC business was paying off. It measures the daily stock price movements of 30 large, publicly-owned USA companies. "We continue to see these positive steps in the right direction and definitely earnings are clearly justifying a lot of the recent move that we've had", said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial in Charlotte, North Carolina.

As of Thursday, 77 per cent of the S&P 500 companies that had reported surpassed earnings expectations, while 79 per cent of those companies had beaten sales estimates, according to USA financial information company FactSet.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's endorsement of a weak dollar earlier in the week had triggered a slide in the currency.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 140.67 points, or 0.54 percent, to 26,392.79.

Also lifting the index were gains in Pfizer (PFE.N), up 4.78 percent after a European regulator recommended granting marketing approval to a diabetes drug developed by the company and Merck (MRK.N), up 1.21 percent.

Bond prices turned higher. S. crude rose 0.89 percent to $66.09 per barrel and Brent was last at $70.47, up 0.07 percent on the day.

Starbucks (O:) fell about 5 percent after it warned 2018 global cafe sales growth would be at the low end of its forecast.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures closed at $66.14 a barrel, up 63 cents, or almost 1 per cent.

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