Dow hits record for a sec­ond day

Banks, tech­nol­ogy spur mod­est gains as in­vestors await earn­ings re­ports

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By Alex Veiga

Banks and tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies led U.S. stocks to mod­est gains Thurs­day, push­ing the Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age to its sec­ond record close in two days.

Big re­tail chains and other con­sumer-fo­cused stocks were among the gain­ers. En­ergy com­pa­nies rose as the price of crude oil in­creased. Phone com­pa­nies and util­i­ties lagged the mar­ket.

“We’re con­tin­u­ing to hit record highs,” said Erik David­son, chief in­vest­ment of­fi­cer for Wells Fargo Pri­vate Bank. “It is a re­silient mar­ket, im­per­vi­ous to what­ever comes out of Wash­ing­ton.”

The Stan­dard & Poor’s 500 in­dex gained 4.58 points, or 0.2 per­cent, to 2,447.83. The Dow rose 20.95 points, or 0.1 per­cent, to 21,553.09. The Nas­daq com­pos­ite added 13.27 points, or 0.2 per­cent, to 6,274.44. The Rus­sell 2000 in­dex of smaller-com­pany stocks inched up 1.34 points, or 0.1 per­cent, to 1,425.66.

The ma­jor in­dexes are all on pace to end the week with gains.

Trad­ing was mostly sub­dued for much of the day as in­vestors weighed new eco­nomic data on ap­pli­ca­tions for un­em­ploy­ment ben­e­fits and prices at the whole­sale level.

Over­all, in­vestors were fo­cused on the com­ing wave of cor­po­rate earn­ings.

“Mar­kets are re­ally bid­ing their time un­til we get into to­mor­row’s more ro­bust earn­ings re­leases,” said Eric Wie­gand, se­nior port­fo­lio man­ager for Pri­vate Wealth Man­age­ment at U.S. Bank.

Banks and other fi­nan­cial stocks posted the largest gains. T. Rowe Price Group added $3.61, or 4.8 per­cent, to $79.19. Gold­man Sachs Group rose $3.01, or 1.3 per­cent, to $230.40. Mor­gan Stan­ley picked up 56 cents, or 1.2 per­cent, to $45.52.

The gains among fi­nan­cial com­pa­nies came as in­vestors looked ahead to Fri­day, when sev­eral big banks, in­clud­ing Cit­i­group, JP­Mor­gan Chase and Wells Fargo re­lease their sec­ond-quar­ter re­sults.

Bench­mark U.S. crude gained 59 cents, or 1.3 per­cent, to set­tle at $46.08 per bar­rel on the New York Mer­can­tile Ex­change. Brent crude, used to price in­ter­na­tional oils, added 68 cents, or 1.4 per­cent, to close at $48.42 per bar­rel in Lon­don.

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