Dow surpasses 19,000 as record-setting drive continues
The Dow Jones industrial average surpassed 19,000 for the first time Tuesday as a postelection rally drove indexes further into record territory.
Stocks opened solidly higher after setting records on Monday. They gave up some of their gains around midday but reached new highs late in the afternoon. Health care stocks slumped, though, after weak results from medical device company Medtronic. Retailers soared after strong earnings from Dollar Tree and Burlington Stores.
“The consumer in general is far more budgetconscious 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 close at 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 Friday.
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.
In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline picked up 1 cent to $1.41 a gallon. Heating oil remained at $1.53 a gallon. Natural gas rose 3 cents to $2.98 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Gold rose $1.40 to $1,211.20 an ounce. Silver gained 11 cents to $16.63 an ounce. Copper added 3 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $2.54 a pound.