New York–The Dow Jones Industrial Average broke the 22,000 milestone for the first time as shares of Apple soared following strong quarterly earnings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wednesday was up 52.32 points, or 0.24 per cent, to 22,016.24, Xinhua news agency reported.

The S&P 500 rose 1.22 points, or 0.05 per cent, to 2,477.57. The Nasdaq Composite Index ticked down 0.29 points, or less than 0.01 per cent, to 6,362.65.

After Tuesday’s closing bell, Apple announced quarterly revenue of $45.4 billion and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $1.67.

Shares of the tech giant rallied 4.73 per cent on Wednesday, and drove the Dow above 22,000 for the first time ever.

This earning season has been strong so far and has broadly been supportive of stock market recently.

Some analysts, however, said the tech sector might continue to face pressure from profit-taking following upbeat earnings.

Meanwhile, investors also turned their eyes to a slew of economic data, as they tried to find clues on when the Federal Reserve might start the balance sheet reduction.

US private sector employment increased by 178,000 jobs from June to July, well below market consensus of 185,000, said the July ADP National Employment Report on Wednesday.

The ADP report is often seen as a preview for the closely-watched US nonfarm payrolls data due out on Friday. (IANS)