New York>> The Dow Jones industrial average surpassed 19,000 for the first time Tuesday as a post-election rally drove indexes further into record territory. Discount store chains made large gains, but health care companies tumbled.
Stocks opened solidly higher after setting records Monday. They gave up some of their gains midday but reached new highs late in the afternoon. Health care stocks slumped after weaker than expected results from medical device company Medtronic. Retailers soared after strong earnings from Dollar Tree and Burlington Stores.
“The consumer in general is far more budget-conscious than they were in previous generations,” Ken Perkins, president of research firm Retail Metrics, said of discount chains.
The Dow picked up 67.18 points, or 0.4 percent, to 19,023.87. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 4.76 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,202.94. The Nasdaq composite gained 17.49 points, or 0.3 percent, to 5,386.35.
The Russell 2000 index, which tracks smaller companies, continued to set records as it traded higher for the 13th day in a row. It jumped 0.9 percent.
The Dow has closed at a record high six times in the two weeks since the presidential election, but trading volume has fallen in recent days. U.S. trading will be closed Thursday for Thanksgiving, and markets will close early on Friday.
Shoppers continued to flock to discount stores. Dollar Tree raised its profit and sales forecasts after the chain reported solid results in the third quarter. Burlington Stores also raised its outlook after it posted a larger profit than analysts expected. Dollar Tree jumped $6.69, or 8.2 percent, to $88.68, and Burlington Stores added $11.86, or 16 percent, to $86.04.
Other retailers like Home Depot, TJX and Signet Jewelers also rose as consumer stocks reached all-time highs. Perkins, of Retail Metrics, said chains like Dollar Tree were able to win over new customers after the Great Recession, and low-cost clothing companies like TJX, the parent of TJ Maxx, have also performed well since that time.
Health care stocks, which are still trading lower than they were at the start of this year, took hefty losses after weak results from Medtronic, one of the world’s largest medical device companies.
Oil prices wobbled and energy companies fell. Benchmark U.S. crude lost 21 cents to $48.03 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 22 cents to $49.12 a barrel in London. The price of oil rose about 4 percent Monday.
Investors continued to sell short-term bonds, which sent their prices lower. The yield on the two-year Treasury note rose to 1.09 percent, its highest in six years. Longer-term bond prices held steady. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note remained at 2.31 percent.
The dollar, which is trading around 13-year highs, was little changed. It rose to 111.14 yen from 111.07 yen. The euro inched up to $1.0624 from $1.0612.