Oil spurt drives Dow to new high

Jump comes with hike for Exxon, Mo­bil and Chevron; still nine stocks fell for ev­ery five that rose.

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By Stan Choe

Stocks mostly fell on Mon­day, but a spurt in oil prices helped push the en­ergy sec­tor higher and the Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age to an­other record.

The Dow rose 39.58 points, or 0.2 per­cent, to ex­tend its record set on Fri­day. The Stan­dard & Poor’s 500 in­dex, which is the bench­mark for many more in­vestors than the Dow, pulled back from its own record, also set on Fri­day, and dipped 2.57 points, or 0.1 per­cent, to 2,256.96. The Nasdaq com­pos­ite fell 31.96, or 0.6 per­cent, to 5,412.54.

The Dow was able to make the lone gain among the big three in­dexes partly thanks to Exxon Mo­bil and Chevron. They rose with oil, which touched its high­est price since the sum­mer of 2015 af­ter OPEC per­suaded Rus­sia and 10 other oil-pro­duc­ing na­tions to an­nounce pro­duc­tion cuts.

En­ergy stocks in the S&P 500 rose 0.7 per­cent, and they were among the six sec­tors to rise of the 11 that make up the in­dex.

Still, nine stocks fell on the New York Stock Ex­change for ev­ery five that rose, and the day’s loss marked the end of a six-day win­ning streak for the S&P 500, its long­est such run since June 2014.

When the Fed­eral Re­serve wraps up its two-day pol­icy meet­ing on Wed­nes­day, in­vestors al­most uni­ver­sally ex­pect it to raise short-term in­ter­est rates for just the sec­ond time in a decade.

The cen­tral bank has held in­ter­est rates at close to zero since the Great Re­ces­sion in hopes of driv­ing eco­nomic growth, though the low rates also have squeezed savers look­ing for in­come from bank ac­counts and bonds.

That helped Exxon Mo­bil to rise $1.98, or 2.2 per­cent, to $90.98. Chevron rose $1.34, or 1.2 per­cent, to $117.15, and Cono­coPhillips rose 61 cents, or 1.2 per­cent, to $51.38.

The big­gest loss in the S&P 500 came from Alex­ion Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, which dropped $16.99, or 12.9 per­cent, to $115.08 af­ter the com­pany named an in­terim CEO and a new chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer. The bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany is in the midst of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into its sales prac­tices.

Vi­a­com had the sec­ond-big­gest de­cline in the in­dex. The me­dia com­pany, which owns Para­mount, Com­edy Cen­tral and MTV, fell $3.63, or 9.4 per­cent, to $34.99. Na­tional Amuse­ments, which con­trols both Vi­a­com and CBS, said it’s no longer look­ing to com­bine the two.

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