Bank stocks help Dow to record
Tech companies left out of the post-election rally helped, but still are down about 1% since Nov. 8.
U.S. stocks resumed their climb Monday as investors bought stocks that stand to benefit from economic growth, like banks, as well as technology companies, which have been mostly left out of a post-election rally. The Dow Jones industrial set another record high.
Energy companies rose as the price of oil reached its highest level since July 2015. Small-company stocks continued to outpace the rest of the market. Technology companies have fallen since the election as big names like Facebook and Alphabet have lost ground. But that changed Monday.
Samantha Azzarello, global market strategist for JPMorgan Asset Management, said investors have been steadily moving money away from safe-play stocks over the past year and favoring companies that stand to do the best when economic growth picks up steam, as it did in the third quarter. Azzarello said investors expect that trend to continue.
“We’ve had 2 to 2.5 percent growth in the U.S. and we expect that to pop even higher if we get fiscal stimulus,” she said.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 45.82 points, or 0.2 percent, to 19,216.24. Earlier it went as high as 19,274. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed 12.76 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,204.71. The Nasdaq composite added 53.24 points, or 1 percent, to 5,308.89.
Stocks of small and mid-sized companies rose sharply. The Russell 2000 index jumped 23.53 points, or 1.8 percent, to 1,337.79. Thanks to a big rally in November, the Russell is up 18 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.
Banks resumed their post-election rally and are trading at their highest levels since early 2008. Goldman Sachs gained $5.19, or 2.3 percent, to $228.55, a nine-year high. While stocks traded lower overall last week, banks are on a four-week winning streak since the election.
Microsoft added 97 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $60.22, customer-management software developer Salesforce.com climbed $3.43, or 3.5 percent, to $70.80. 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.
Oil prices rose for the fourth day in a row. The price of oil has surged since OPEC countries finalized a deal that will trim oil production starting in January. 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.
That sent energy companies higher. Valero Energy gained $3.06, or 5 percent, to $64.52 and ConocoPhillips picked up 76 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $48.88.
Consumer-focused companies also did better than the rest of the market. Amazon jumped $19.02, or 2.6 percent, to $759.36. On Monday the online retail giant said it is testing a grocery store model that works without checkout lines.
Health care stocks took the biggest losses. Health insurer UnitedHealth, a Dow component that has soared since the election, shed $3.10, or 1.9 percent, to $157.63 and drugmaker Merck fell 88 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $60.25.