Dow Jones closes above 23000 for the first time

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

U.S. President Donald Trump opened a news conference with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras by noting the index's achievement: "It broke for the first time ever 23,000". It took 54 trading days for the gauge to close above the next round-number milestone, representing the third fastest 1,000-point advance in history.

Oct 18 (Reuters) - The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied above the 23,000-mark on Wednesday, propelled by IBM's 9 percent surge after the computing giant hinted a return to revenue growth.

"Looks like it's set for a good start, largely driven by strong earnings and positive economic growth", said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida. It rose as high as 23,002.20 during the session. The S&P 500 index added 1.90 points to 2,561.26 and the Nasdaq composite index eked out 0.56 of point to 6,624.22.

More than 80pc of firms which have reported this earnings season beat analyst expectations on the bottom line.

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Also boosting some health insurers and U.S. hospital operators was news of a bipartisan deal in the U.S. Senate to stabilize Obamacare.

The financial index jumped 0.65 percent, led by bank stocks, which gained from a surge in treasury yields and bullish calls by brokerages.

Goldman Sachs was another contributor to the Dow's gains, jumping almost 2 percent to $240.55 in early trades - just one day after the company reported results that beat expectations but still lagged peers.

About 5.5 billion shares changed hands on US exchanges.

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