Tele­coms, banks take Dow to high

Oil-price rally peters out af­ter four days of gains on OPEC’s prom­ise to cut pro­duc­tion in 2017.

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By Ken Sweet

Stocks posted slight gains on Tues­day, send­ing the Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age to an­other record, helped by shares of telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pa­nies such as Ver­i­zon, Sprint and AT&T.

Small com­pa­nies and bank stocks also rose as in­vestors con­tinue to spec­u­late that U.S. eco­nomic growth will pick up un­der the in­com­ing Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age rose 35.54 points, or 0.2 per­cent, to 19,251.78, a record high close. The Standard & Poor’s 500 in­dex rose 7.52 points, or 0.3 per­cent, to 2,212.23 and the Nas­daq com­pos­ite rose 24.11 points, or 0.5 per­cent, to 5,333.

Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions stocks were among the big­gest gainers, helped by a myr­iad of com­pany-spe­cific news. Dow mem­ber Ver­i­zon climbed 61 cents, or 1 per­cent, to $50.36 and AT&T rose 72 cents, or 2 per­cent, to $39.35. Over­all, the tele­com sec­tor of the S&P 500 rose 1.5 per­cent.

AT&T rose fol­low­ing re­ports that its newly launched Direc­tTV Now ser­vice was at­tract­ing more sub­scribers than an­tic­i­pated, while Ver­i­zon rose as the com­pany sold a group of data cen­ters for $3.6 bil­lion.

Separately, Sprint and T-Mo­bile gained af­ter Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump said that Ja­panese com­pany Softbank, which owns the ma­jor­ity of Sprint, was go­ing to in­vest $50 bil­lion in the U.S. to cre­ate 50,000 jobs over the next four years. How­ever, it’s not clear if Softbank’s an­nounce­ment is new.

Sprint jumped 12 cents, or 1.5 per­cent, to $8.17, while T-Mo­bile rose 97 cents, or roughly 2 per­cent, to $55.99.

Bank stocks also con­tin­ued to per­form well, as they have since the elec­tion. The fi­nan­cial ser­vices sec­tor of the S&P 500 closed up 1 per­cent, far more than the broader mar­ket. The Rus­sell 2000 in­dex, which is made up of smaller com­pa­nies, rose 1.1 per­cent to a new record as well.

Boe­ing’s stock dropped briefly af­ter Pres­i­dent-elect Trump said he be­lieved the U.S. gov­ern­ment should can­cel an an­tic­i­pated or­der for new Air Force One planes. Boe­ing had been down as much as 1 per­cent ear­lier in the day, only to close mostly un­changed at $152.24.

A rally in oil prices pe­tered out af­ter four days of gains driven by OPEC’s deal to cut pro­duc­tion next year. Bench­mark U.S. crude closed down 86 cents to $50.93 in New York. Brent crude, the in­ter­na­tional standard, shed $1.01 to $53.93 a bar­rel in Lon­don. While oil prices were solidly lower, en­ergy com­pa­nies were trad­ing mostly flat to only slightly lower.

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