US shares close at record levels

NYSE traders Image copyright Reuters

(Close): US shares closed at record levels, lifted by better-than-expected results from JP Morgan Chase.

The Dow closed 0.7% higher at 18,506.41 - its third consecutive record close.

The S&P 500 index added 0.5% to close at 2,163.75 - the index's fourth record close in a row.

Shares in JP Morgan Chase rose 1.6% after it posted second quarter profits of $6.2bn. That helped other banking shares including Goldman Sachs which jumped almost 3%.

"The fact that JPMorgan's earnings came out favourably bodes well for the entire banking sector," said Mark Heppenstall, chief investment officer of Penn Mutual Asset Management.

"If banks are healthy ... then that clearly has more positive implications for economic growth," he said.

Line arrives

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Executives from Line Corp rang the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange

In the biggest stock market debut for a technology firm this year, shares in Line Corp began to trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

Shares in the company, which is best known for its Japanese messaging app, soared as much as 37%, before closing almost 27% higher at $41.58.

The company raised $723m from the share sale.

Line, which is controlled by South Korea's Naver Corp, will list its shares on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Friday.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq index climbed 0.5% to 5,034.06.

Craving Yum

Shares in KFC owner Yum Brands rose 3% after it reported strong second quarter results late on Wednesday.

Net income rose to $339m from $235m a year earlier, and the company also raised its outlook for the full year, expecting a 14% increase in core operating profit.