Record-set­ting stock streak hits 6th day on broad gains

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

US stocks rose for the sixth day in a row Fri­day as ma­jor in­dexes con­tin­ued to set records. The big­gest gains went to com­pa­nies that have been mostly left out of the post­elec­tion rally, in­clud­ing health care com­pa­nies and mak­ers of house­hold goods.

Stocks were solidly higher through­out the day and jumped an hour be­fore the close of trad­ing. Coca-Cola and Pfizer both gained 2.5 per­cent. In­vestors have mostly avoided con­sumer goods mak­ers and health com­pa­nies in re­cent weeks. In­stead they’ve bought banks and ma­chin­ery com­pa­nies, which could ben­e­fit more from a faster-grow­ing econ­omy.

“What we’re see­ing to­day is in­vestors who are fear­ful they’ll be left be­hind,” said Kate Warne, in­vest­ment strate­gist for Ed­ward Jones. “So it may not be sur­pris­ing that they’re buy­ing less ag­gres­sive stocks and sec­tors.” The Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age climbed 142.04 points, or 0.7 per­cent, to 19,756.85. The Stan­dard & Poor’s 500 in­dex rose 13.34 points, or 0.6 per­cent, to 2,259.53. The Nas­daq com­pos­ite gained 27.14 points, or 0.5 per­cent, to 5,444.50. The Rus­sell 2000 in­dex of small­er­com­pany stocks edged up 1.71 points, or 0.1 per­cent, to 1,388.07.

The S&P 500’s six-day win­ning streak is its long­est in two and a half years. Among house­hold goods com­pa­nies, Pep­siCo gained $1.42, or 1.4 per­cent, to $103.57. En­ergy drink maker Mon­ster Bev­er­age also rose, as did drug­store chains CVS and Wal­greens.

Coca-Cola climbed as in­vestors re­acted pos­i­tively to the com­pany’s CEO tran­si­tion plans. Coke said Muhtar Kent will give up his CEO ti­tle in May, and Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer James Quincey, a 20-year vet­eran of the com­pany, will be­come CEO. Drug com­pa­nies bounced back from their re­cent losses. Those stocks, es­pe­cially biotech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies, were hit hard this week af­ter Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump said he wants to re­duce drug prices. Bris­tol-My­ers Squibb gained $1.81, or 3.3 per­cent, to $57.04 and Bo­tox maker Al­ler­gan rose $3.78, or 2 per­cent, to $192.25.

Over­all, health care com­pa­nies are nearly flat since Nov 8. Tech­nol­ogy stocks rose for the sixth con­sec­u­tive day and com­pleted their best week in a year. They’ve slightly lagged the†mar­ket†since Elec­tion Day. Chip­maker Broad­com rose $8.38, or 4.9 per­cent, to $179.09 af­ter re­port­ing earn­ings that were far above ex­pec­ta­tions. The com­pany also dou­bled its quar­terly div­i­dend. Ap­ple gained $1.83, or 1.6 per­cent, to $113.95. Google par­ent Al­pha­bet re­versed its post-elec­tion losses and picked up $14.28, or 1.8 per­cent, to $809.45. US gov­ern­ment bond prices slipped again. The yield on the 10-year Trea­sury note inched up to 2.47 per­cent, its high­est in about 18 months, from 2.41 per­cent late Thurs­day. That yield is used to set in­ter­est rates on many kinds of loans in­clud­ing mort­gages.

Next week the Fed­eral Re­serve will meet for the last time in 2016. In­vestors ex­pect the cen­tral bank to raise its key in­ter­est rate, and Wall Street will look for clues about the Fed’s plans for fu­ture in­ter­est rates. “They’re hop­ing that the Fed con­tin­ues with the cur­rent mes­sage: that they’ll be pa­tient, that they’re watch­ing the econ­omy, and that they see the risks as bal­anced,” said Warne.

Banks made small gains. The S&P 500 fi­nan­cial in­dex has climbed 18.5 per­cent since Nov. 9, twice as much as any other sec­tor. The S&P 500 over­all is up 3.1 per­cent. Banks are trad­ing at their high­est prices since early 2008.

Bench­mark US crude oil jumped 66 cents, or 1.3 per­cent, to $51.50 a bar­rel in New York. Brent crude, the international stan­dard, added 44 cents to $54.33 a bar­rel in Lon­don.

Gold lost $10.50 to $1,161.90 an ounce. Silver fell 13 cents to $16.97 an ounce. Cop­per picked up 2 cents to $2.65 per pound. Gold reached a 10-month low Fri­day, and that helped pull min­ing com­pa­nies lower. Ba­sic ma­te­ri­als mak­ers also strug­gled. In other en­ergy trad­ing, whole­sale gaso­line was lit­tle changed at $1.51 a gal­lon. Heat­ing oil picked up 1 cent to $1.64 a gal­lon. Nat­u­ral gas gained 5 cents, or 1.4 per­cent, to $3.75.

Euro­pean stocks had an even stronger week than their US coun­ter­parts af­ter the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank said it will spend an­other $579 bil­lion to stim­u­late the econ­omy by buy­ing bonds, but said it will buy slightly smaller amounts of bonds each month. It said the dan­ger of de­fla­tion, which dam­ages growth, had passed. — AP

NEW YORK: Trader Peter Tuch­man works on the floor of the New York Stock Ex­change on Fri­day. US stocks are open­ing higher Fri­day morn­ing as ma­jor in­dexes con­tinue to set records. —AP

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