U.S. stocks rise to fresh records

Mar­kets con­tinue up­ward climb

Baltimore Sun - - MARYLAND - By Bernard Con­don

NEWYORK — Stocks hit fresh records in a short­ened trad­ing ses­sion Fri­day as in­vestors con­tin­ued to bet on a pickup in eco­nomic growth and ris­ing corporate prof­its.

The gains were mod­est but broad, with nearly ev­ery sec­tor in the Stan­dard and Poor’s 500 in­dex ris­ing. Util­i­ties rose the most, up 1.4 per­cent.

In­dexes have been ris­ing since the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, and the close on Fri­day capped a third week in a row of S&P 500 gains. The in­dex is up 4 per­cent so far this month.

In­vestors an­tic­i­pate that plans by Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump to cut taxes, re­duce reg­u­la­tions and spend on in­fra­struc­ture will speed eco­nomic growth. In­vestors are also re­act­ing to re­cent signs of a pickup in growth in sev­eral other ma­jor economies around the world, said Jim Paulsen, chief in­vest­ment strate­gist for Wells Cap­i­tal Man­age- Stocks con­tin­ued their up­ward climb, end­ing the short­ened post-hol­i­day ses­sion at record highs. Nearly ev­ery sec­tor in the S&P 500 ended the day higher. ment.

“We haven’t had a syn­chro­nized bounce in growth across the globe ever in this re­cov­ery” Paulsen said. “This is the first time you’re get­ting all the eco­nomic boats go­ing north at the same time, and I think stock mar­kets are re­flect­ing that.”

The Dow Jones in­dus­tri- al average rose 68.96 points, or 0.4 per­cent, to 19,152.14. The S&P 500 climbed 8.63 points, or 0.4 per­cent, to 2,213.35. The Nas­daq com­pos­ite added 18.24 points, or 0.3 per­cent, to 5,398.92.

Stock trad­ing closed at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time. Trad­ing was rel­a­tively quiet as in­vestors re­turned from the Thanks­giv­ing hol­i­day.

In­vestors sold bonds again on fear that in­fla­tion in the fu­ture could eat into their fixed pay­ments. Yields, which move op­po­site prices, fell. The yield on the 10-year Trea­sury note rose to 2.36 per­cent.

Ten of 11 sec­tors of the S&P 500 rose. En­ergy com­pa­nies fell with the price of oil. Cono­coPhillips lost 55 cents, or 1.2 per­cent, to $45.75.

Elec­tric­ity sup­plier En­tergy En­ergy rose $1.41, or 2.1 per­cent, to $69.53. The climb in util­i­ties on Fri­day re­flects in­vestor de­sire for steady div­i­dends. Tele­phone com­pa­nies, which are also big div­i­dend pay­ers, rose, too. AT&T climbed 48 cents, or 1.2 per­cent, to $39.21.

Among oth­ers stocks mak­ing moves Fri­day, John­son & John­son rose $1.06 cents, or 0.9 per­cent, to $114.13 af­ter the health care com­pany said it is in early talks to buy Swiss drug­maker Acte­lion.

Deere & Co. rose 1.7 per­cent, af­ter rock­et­ing 11 per­cent on Wed­nes­day. The maker of agri­cul­tural and con­struc­tion equip­ment re­ported a quar­terly loss on Wed­nes­day, but it was much less than ex­pected. It closed Fri­day at $103.92, up $1.75.

Stocks closed higher over­seas too.

Bri­tain’s FTSE 100 and France’s CAC 40 each rose 0.2 per­cent. Ger­many’s DAX climbed 0.1 per­cent.

In Asia, Ja­pan’s Nikkei 225 fin­ished 0.3 per­cent higher and South Korea’s Kospi edged up 0.2 per­cent. Stocks in Hong Kong, Aus­tralia, Tai­wan, Sin­ga­pore and other South­east Asian mar­kets also ad­vanced.

Oil prices fell sharply. Bench­mark U.S. crude fell $1.90, or 4 per­cent, to $46.06 per bar­rel in New York. Brent crude, used to price in­ter­na­tional oils, lost $1.90, or 3.9 per­cent, to $47.10 in Lon­don.

In­vestors pushed prices up ear­lier in the week, but are on edge in an­tic­i­pa­tion of a meet­ing of OPEC na­tions next week. They are meet­ing to pos­si­bly ham­mer out an agree­ment on mean­ing­ful out­put cuts.

In other en­ergy trad­ing, whole­sale ga­so­line fell 5 cents to $1.37 a gal­lon, heat­ing oil lost 5 cents to $1.47 a gal­lon and nat­u­ral gas rose 6 cents to $3.09 per 1,000 cu­bic feet.

The dol­lar re­mained at a more than eight-year high against the Chi­nese yuan, which was trad­ing at 6.92 yuan per dol­lar. The dol­lar fell against the Ja­panese yen, to 113.09 yen from 113.69 yen, while the euro strength­ened to $1.0600 from $1.0547.

MARY ALTAFFER/AP

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