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Dow hits another record as consumer and tech stocks rise

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    A Wall Street street sign outside the New York Stock Exchange, as seen in July 2013.

NEW YORK » U.S. stocks are resuming their climb today, sending the Dow Jones industrial average to another record high. Banks put up some of the biggest gains, as did technology companies, which have been mostly left out of a post-election rally. Energy companies were higher as the price of oil reached its highest level since July 2015. Small-company stocks continued to outpace the rest of the market.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 35 points, or 0.2 percent, to 19,205 as of 3 p.m. Earlier it rose as high as 19,274. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index jumped 11 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,203. The Nasdaq composite climbed 47 points, or 0.9 percent, to 5,303.

RUSSELL RISING: Stocks of small and mid-sized companies rose sharply. The Russell 2000 index jumped 20 points, or 1.5 percent, to 1,334. Thanks to a big rally in November, the Russell is up 17 percent this year, more than twice as much as the S&P 500, which tracks large U.S. companies. Smaller companies, which are more domestically focused than large multinationals, could stand to benefit more than larger ones from a pickup in U.S. growth.

ENERGY: Oil prices rose for the fourth day in a row. The gains today were modest, but oil prices haven’t been this high since July 2015. Benchmark U.S. oil rose 11 cents to $51.79 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 48 cents to $54.94 a barrel in London.

The rising price of oil sent energy companies higher. ConocoPhillips picked up $1.19, or 2.5 percent, to $49.31 and Hess rose $2.02, or 3.5 percent, to $59.94.

The price of oil has surged since OPEC countries finalized a deal that will trim oil production starting in January.

TECH RALLY: Microsoft added 81 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $60.06 and chipmaker Nvidia rose $3.33, or 3.8 percent, to $91.78. Customer-management software developer Salesforce.com climbed $2.34, or 3.4 percent, to $70.75. Tech stocks are down about 1 percent since the election as investors have wondered about the effects of President-elect Donald Trump’s potential trade policies. The stocks had also reached all-time highs earlier this year.

OTHER GAINERS: Consumer-focused companies also outperformed the rest of the market. Travel website operator TripAdvisor added $1.51, or 3.2 percent, to $47.97 and Amazon jumped $19.33, or 2.6 percent, to $759.67. The online retail giant today said it is testing a grocery store model that works without checkout lines.

BIG GAINS FOR BANKS: Banks resumed their post-election rally and are trading at their highest levels since early 2008. Goldman Sachs gained $4.05, or 1.8 percent, to $227.41, a nine-year high. Citigroup picked up $1.12, or 2 percent, to $57.14. While stocks traded lower overall last week, banks are on a four-week winning streak since the election.

HEALTH WOES: Health care stocks took the biggest losses. Health insurer UnitedHealth, which has soared since the election, shed $4, or 2.5 percent, to $156.73 and drugmaker Merck fell 99 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $60.14.

BONDS: U.S. government bond prices recovered from a sharp drop earlier in the day and were little changed in afternoon trading. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was 2.39 percent, the same as late Friday.

ITALY SAYS NO: Italian voters rejected proposed changes to the nation’s constitution on Sunday, causing political and economic uncertainty for Europe’s fourth-largest economy. Premier Matteo Renzi said he would resign. Italy’s FTSE MIB index slipped 0.2 percent. UniCredit, the biggest bank in Italy, lost 3 percent in Milan. Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the country’s third-biggest lender, slumped 4 percent. The bank failed a stress test this year and has been in negotiations with investors to raise money to shore up its financial position.

DAKOTA DISPUTE: On Sunday the Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit for the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe and its supporters argue that the proposed route for the pipeline threatens the tribe’s water source and cultural sites. It’s the last major piece of construction on the 1,200-mile, $3.8 billion pipeline. The companies involved in the pipeline criticized the decision and it’s not clear if the Trump administration will try to overturn the decision after Trump takes power in January.

The companies connected to the pipeline traded lower today. Energy Transfer Partners lost 72 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $33.66 and Sunoco Logistics shed 45 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $22.74. Those two companies recently agreed to combine.

CURRENCY: The dollar rose to 113.72 yen from 113.67 yen. The euro rose to $1.0775 from $1.0660.

OTHER ENERGY TRADING: Wholesale gasoline remained at $1.56 a gallon and heating oil was unchanged at $1.66 a gallon. Natural gas jumped 22 cents, or 6.3 percent, to $3.65 per 1,000 cubic feet.

METALS: Gold fell $1.30 to $1,176.50 an ounce. Silver rose 7 cents to $16.90 an ounce. Copper jumped 7 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $2.70 a pound.

OVERSEAS: Outside of Italy, European stock indexes were sharply higher. Germany’s DAX added 1.6 percent and France’s CAC-40 gained 1 percent. In London the FTSE 100 advanced 0.2 percent. Asian stocks mostly fell. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 retreated 0.8 percent. The South Korean Kospi gave up 0.4 percent and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 0.3 percent.

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