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.

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By Marley Jay

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 Sales­ 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.

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