US stocks end higher amid impetus led by Dow members' gains on strong corporate performance

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U.S. stocks ended higher on Wednesday, as stronger-than-expected corporate performance shored up rebounds in the overall U.S. stock markets, despite the ongoing concerns over a slowing global economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 172.77 points, or 0.71 percent to 24,577.25. The S&P 500 rose 5.80 points, or 0.22 percent to 2,638.70. The Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 5.41 points, or 0.08 percent to 7,025.77.

Nine of the 11 primary S&P sectors extended gains, with the consumer staples sector up more than 1 percent, leading the winners.

Large conglomerate propelled the Dow tally to turn green throughout Wednesday with upbeat corporate earnings in 2018 and strong guidance for 2019.

Shares of P&G extended gains of nearly 5 percent around the closing bell, after the U.S. consumer goods corporation reported quarterly revenues that beat Wall Street estimates earlier Wednesday, thanks to its new beauty and fabric care products launched last year.

Shares of United Technologies rose over 5 percent, after the U.S. manufacturing conglomerate posted adjusted fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday, brought by rising growth in aerospace businesses sales and lower tax rate.

Shares of IBM posted a gaining streak since Tuesday afternoon and rose over 8 percent, driven by stronger-than-expected quarterly, yearly earnings in 2018 thanks to its broad application of advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence and cloud computing.

Other blue-chip stocks also propelled the Dow on Wednesday. Shares of U.S. airplanes maker Boeing, and U.S. manufacturing conglomerate 3M both extended gains, up 0.2 percent and 0.02 percent respectively.

Market jitters over a potential slowdown went deeper, after White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said Wednesday that the United States could possibly see zero growth for the first quarter this year, if the government shutdown lasts throughout the quarter.

"If (the shutdown) extended for the whole quarter, and given the fact that the first quarter tends to be low because of residual seasonality, then you could end up with a number very close to zero in the first quarter," Hassett told CNN.

As the World Economic Forum marched into the second day, some bankers and analysts tried to pacify market anxiety due to a trimmed economy outlook for 2019 by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday.

The IMF projected global growth at 3.5 percent in 2019 and 3.6 percent in 2020, 0.2 and 0.1 percentage point below last October's projections.

"We're slowing, but we're still growing," said Philipp Hildebrand, vice chairman of BlackRock, a New York City-based investment management corporation. 

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