* Strong earnings, prospect of U.S. tax cuts drive world
* European earnings also beat expectations, shares edge
* Euro retreats after gains spurred by French vote
* U.S. crude futures turn positive after EIA inventories
(Updates with U.S. market open; changes byline, dateline;
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, April 26 Equities in major markets
touched a record for a third straight session on Wednesday as
U.S. shares rose on strong earnings and the prospect of tax
cuts, while the euro pulled back after two days of strong gains.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who is leading U.S.
President Donald Trump's effort to craft a tax package that can
pass Congress, described the plan as the "the biggest tax cut"
in U.S. history and said he hoped it would attract broad
"We have a pretty good idea that he (Trump) is targeting
lower corporate taxes, lower individual taxes and a
simplification of the process, but all that is in an ideal
world," said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital
in Bernardsville, New Jersey.
Thermo Fisher Electron, up 4.4 percent, and Edwards
Lifesciences, up 9.5 percent, were the biggest boosts to
the benchmark S&P 500 index after results.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 33.93 points,
or 0.16 percent, to 21,030.05, the S&P 500 gained 5.04
points, or 0.21 percent, to 2,393.65 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 5.39 points, or 0.09 percent, to 6,030.88.
European shares are at 20-month highs during a three-day
rally sparked by centrist Emmanuel Macron's win in the first
round of French presidential elections, which considerably
reduced the risk of a French exit from the single currency.
Higher-than-expected earnings also helped European stocks
reverse early falls and move higher.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.46
percent, to touch its highest level since August 2015. MSCI's
gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.17
percent after hitting a high of 456.97, to set a record for a
third straight session.
Overall, first-quarter earnings for STOXX 600 companies were
expected to rise 5.5 percent, according to Thomson Reuters
data. In comparison, S&P 500 companies in the U.S. are expected
to show 11.4-percent earnings growth expected for quarter.
The euro was down 0.46 percent to $1.0875 after
strengthening by more than 2 percent in the prior two sessions
in the wake of the first round of French elections.
The threat of a U.S. government shutdown this weekend also
receded after Trump backed away from demanding that Congress
include funding for his planned border wall with Mexico in a
U.S. Treasury prices were little changed ahead of the tax
announcement after paring steep losses sustained in the last few
sessions. Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 2/32 in
price to yield 2.3215 percent, from 2.329 percent late on
Oil prices reversed course and turned higher after
data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed a
bigger-than-expected draw in crude inventories.
U.S. crude rose 0.69 percent to $49.90 per barrel
and Brent was last at $52.14, up 0.08 percent on the
Investors were also looking ahead to Thursday's policy
meeting of the European Central Bank.
While no changes are expected, policymakers see scope for
sending a small signal in June towards reducing monetary
stimulus, according to sources, another factor underpinning the
(Additional reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan; Editing by