IBM catapults Dow Industrials to close over 23,000 for first time

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Dow Jones industrial average closed above the 23,000 level for the first time on Wednesday, driven by a jump in IBM after the computing giant hinted at a return to revenue growth.

The close above 23,000 came just 54 trading days after the Dow hit 22,000 on Aug. 2. That's roughly half the time it took the index to move from 21,000 to 22,000, and marks the fourth time this year the Dow has reached a 1,000-point milestone.

"Retail investors continue to pour into the marketplace, and with each headline about a new record, and especially round numbers like that, people tend to feel like they're missing out and you kind of suck more people into the market," said Ian Winer, head of equities at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles.

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IBM CEO Ginni Rometty through her career
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IBM CEO Ginni Rometty through her career
Ginni Rometty, Managing Partner with IBM's Business Consulting Services. (Photo by James Leynse/Corbis via Getty Images)
INDIA - JANUARY 27: Ginni Rometty, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Business Services, IBM Global Services, poses at office, in bangalore, India. Potrait (Photo by Deepak G Pawar/The India Today Group/Getty Images)
Virginia 'Ginni' Rometty, chief executive officer of International Business Machines Corp., attends a Business Roundtable news conference in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, March 7, 2012. President Barack Obama told a group of business executives that the U.S. can avoid extreme measures to trim the deficit while still meeting the nation's need to bolster education and rebuild infrastructure. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Virginia 'Ginni' Rometty, chief executive officer of International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), arrives for a keynote address on day three of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. Top telecommunication managers will rub shoulders in Barcelona this week at the Mobile World Congress, Monday, Feb. 24 - 27, a traditional venue for showcasing the latest products for dealmaking. Photographer: Angel Navarrete/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Virginia 'Ginni' Rometty, chief executive officer of International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), gestures as she speaks during the 16th Nikkei Global Management Forum 2014 in Tokyo, Japan, on Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014. The forum runs until Nov. 12. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 16: Stephanie Mehta and Chairwoman and CEO of IBM Ginni Rometty speak onstage at the FORTUNE Most Powerful Women Summit on October 16, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for FORTUNE)
Chairman, President and CEO of IBM Ginni Rometty speaks during a discussion with Economic Club of Washington President David Rubenstein (L) on December 3, 2014 at a hotel in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: President and CEO of IBM Ginni Rometty speaks onstage during Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit - Day 2 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on October 13, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Fortune/Time Inc)
The silhouette of Virginia 'Ginni' Rometty, chief executive officer of International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), is seen exiting the stage after an event during the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016. CES is expected to bring a range of announcements from major names in tech showcasing new developments in virtual reality, self-driving cars, drones, wearables, and the Internet of Things. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Virginia 'Ginni' Rometty, chief executive officer of International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), arrives for the morning sessions during the Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S., on Thursday, July 7, 2016. Billionaires, chief executive officers, and leaders from the technology, media, and finance industries gather this week at the Idaho mountain resort conference hosted by investment banking firm Allen & Co. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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"Ultimately, the only way you're going to top is by getting everybody all in. And we're getting close."

The Dow had briefly surpassed the all-time peak on Tuesday but closed just shy of it.

Shares of IBM, which beat expectations on revenue, jumped 8.9 percent and accounted for about 90 points of the day's 160 point-gain in the blue-chip index.

Solid earnings, stronger economic growth and hopes that President Donald Trump may be able to make progress on tax cuts have helped the market rally this year.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also hit record closing highs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 160.16 points, or 0.7 percent, to end at 23,157.6, the S&P 500 gained 1.9 points, or 0.07 percent, to 2,561.26 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.56 points, or 0.01 percent, to 6,624.22.

"Today the catalyst is clearly IBM ... which appears to have turned the corner. It gave the Dow the boost to stay over 23,000," said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey.

The financial index jumped 0.6 percent, led by bank stocks recovering from recent post-earnings losses. Bullish calls by brokerages helped to support the bank shares.

Bank shares had run up ahead of recent results, which resulted in some selling following the earnings news, said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey.

Abbott rose 1.3 percent after the company's profit beat estimates on strong sales in its medical devices business.

After the bell, shares of eBay fell 4 percent following results.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.09-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.32-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

About 5.6 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, below the 5.9 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters data.

(Additional reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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