* Financial stocks up; rate-sensitive sectors fall
* S&P set for longest winning streak in 3-1/2 years
* Indexes up: Dow 0.47 pct, S&P 0.39 pct, Nasdaq 0.48 pct
(Updates to mid-afternoon trading)
By Noel Randewich
Feb 15 Wall Street pushed further into
record-high territory on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 on track
for a seven-session winning streak for the first time since 2013
after President Donald Trump repeated his promise of tax cuts.
In a meeting with top executives from U.S. retail companies,
Trump said he would lower taxes substantially and simplify the
tax code, echoing a vow he made last week.
Optimism that lower taxes and corporate deregulation will
expand the economy pushed the three major indexes to all-time
highs. The S&P 500 was on track for its fifth straight record
close, even as some investors worried that Trump so far has
provided no substantial details of his tax plan.
Also helping sentiment was robust economic data, including
bigger-than-expected gains in retail sales and consumer prices
in January, that reinforced the strength of the economy.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, in testimony before the
House Financial Services Committee, stood by the stance she took
on Tuesday that the U.S. central bank was on track to raise
interest rates at an upcoming policy meeting.
"A year ago, if Janet Yellen had come out with the statement
she made, the market would have freaked out, because the
fundamentals were very soft," said Brad McMillan, chief
investment officer at Commonwealth Financial Network. "Now, if
the Fed raises rates, it's not going to shake the world, because
people are confident enough about the fundamentals."
Financial stocks, which benefit from higher rates,
rose 0.82 percent. The utilities and real estate
sectors fell 0.7 percent and 0.23 percent
At 2:41 p.m. (1941 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average
was up 0.47 percent at 20,600.88, while the S&P 500
had gained 0.39 percent to 2,346.81.
The Nasdaq Composite added 0.48 percent to
Procter & Gamble jumped 3.7 percent to a two-year
high of $91.10, giving the biggest boost to the Dow and the S&P,
after Trian Fund disclosed a stake, which could pressure the
company to slice costs and slow-growing divisions.
Shares of Southwest, United Continental,
American Airlines and Delta rose between 1
percent and 4 percent after Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway
reported investments topping $2.1 billion in each of
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a
1.22-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.54-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 75 new 52-week highs and two new lows;
the Nasdaq Composite recorded 137 new highs and 23 new lows.
(Additional reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru;
Editing by James Dalgleish)