By Noel Randewich
(Reuters) - 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 <.SPSY>, which benefit from higher rates, rose 0.82 percent. The utilities <.SPLRCU> and real estate <.SPLRCR> sectors fell 0.7 percent and 0.23 percent respectively.
At 2:41 p.m. (1941 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> was up 0.47 percent at 20,600.88, while the S&P 500 <.SPX> had gained 0.39 percent to 2,346.81.
The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 0.48 percent to 5,810.14.
Procter & Gamble
Shares of Southwest
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)