Dow sets record as oth­ers strug­gle

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) - - FRONT PAGE - By Mar­ley Jay

NEW YORK » It was a split de­ci­sion on Wall Street on Thurs­day as gains in a hand­ful of in­dus­trial and health care com­pa­nies largely out­weighed slug­gish­ness else­where in the mar­ket, in­clud­ing the tech­nol­ogy sec­tor.

Siz­able gains by Boe­ing and United Tech­nol­ogy were enough to push the Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age to an­other record, but other ma­jor in­dexes fell.

Re­tail­ers were also weak af­ter the gov­ern­ment said prices paid by con­sumers jumped in Au­gust. That could prompt the Fed­eral Re­serve to raise in­ter­est rates sooner than ex­pected in or­der to cool the econ­omy and stave off in­fla­tion. That would be bad for com­pa­nies like re­tail­ers that de­pend on shop­pers spend­ing money.

En­ergy com­pa­nies rose as U.S. crude oil climbed to its high­est price in six weeks.

The Stan­dard & Poor’s 500 in­dex slid 2.75 points, or 0.1 per­cent, to 2,495.62. The Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age rose 45.30 points, or 0.2 per­cent, to 22,203.48. It was the Dow’s third straight record high close.

The Nas­daq com­pos­ite slumped 31.10 points, or 0.5 per­cent, to 6,429.08 as big names like Face­book and Al­pha­bet, Google’s par­ent com­pany, lost ground. The Rus­sell 2000 in­dex of smaller-com­pany stocks fell 1.87 points, or 0.1 per­cent, to 1,425.02.

On the New York Stock Ex­change, there were slightly more win­ners than losers.

The La­bor Depart­ment re­ported that U.S. con­sumer prices grew 0.4 per­cent in Au­gust as gas and hous­ing costs rose. Prices are up 1.9 per­cent over the last year. That could show in­fla­tion is speed­ing up, though it’s not clear how much of the re­cent in­crease in gas prices was due to Hur­ri­cane Har­vey, which del­uged the Gulf Coast re­gion in late Au­gust and caused many drilling rigs and re­finer­ies to shut down.

The Fed­eral Re­serve will meet next week and in­vestors won­dered if Thurs­day’s re­port makes it more likely the Fed will raise in­ter­est rates later in the year. Higher in­ter­est rates re­duce growth be­cause they make bor­row­ing more ex­pen­sive.

Michael Scan­lon, a port­fo­lio man­ager for Man­ulife As­set Man­age­ment, said if in­fla­tion does get stronger over the next few months, “it would be a sign of more health in the econ­omy over­all,” he said.

Ur­ban Out­fit­ters fell 77 cents, or 3.3 per­cent, to $22.77 and dis­count re­tailer Ross Stores lost 81 cents, or 1.3 per­cent, to $60.60. Ama­zon shed $7.39 to $992.21. Coca-Cola lost 38 cents to $46.11 and gro­cery store oper­a­tor Kroger fell 47 cents, or 2.2 per­cent, to $21.26.

Jew­elry seller Tif­fany dropped $4.56, or 4.8 per­cent, to $90.95 af­ter one of its big­gest share­hold­ers, Qatar’s in­vest­ment fund, said it sold some of its Tif­fany stock.

Boe­ing rose an­other $3.30, or 1.4 per­cent, to $245.23. Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, CEO Den­nis Muilen­burg said the com­pany ex­pects to start de­liv­er­ing more planes. The stock rose 0.6 per­cent a day ago. Other in­dus­trial com­pa­nies also climbed. United Tech­nolo­gies gained $2.86, or 2.6 per­cent, to $113.14.

Bench­mark U.S. crude oil rose 59 cents, or 1.2 per­cent, to $49.89 a bar­rel. That was its high­est clos­ing price since the end of July. Brent crude, used to price in­ter­na­tional oils, gained 31 cents to $55.47 bar­rel in Lon­don.

Among en­ergy com­pa­nies, Sch­lum­berger rose 78 cents, or 1.2 per­cent, to $67.70 and Anadarko Petroleum picked up 40 cents to $43.53.

Chip­maker Lat­tice Semi­con­duc­tor slipped af­ter the U.S. gov­ern­ment stopped its sale to a firm backed by the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment be­cause of na­tional se­cu­rity con­cerns. Lat­tice ac­cepted the $1.02 bil­lion of­fer from Canyon Bridge Part­ners in Novem­ber, but in­vestors have long been skep­ti­cal the deal would be com­pleted. Last week a U.S. gov­ern­ment panel said the sale should be blocked.

Lat­tice wob­bled be­tween gains and losses and fin­ished 2 cents lower at $5.70. Canyon Bridge agreed to pay $8.30 a share.

Bond prices edged lower. The yield on the 10-year Trea­sury note rose to 2.20 per­cent from 2.19 per­cent. The yield on the 2-year note rose to 1.37 per­cent from 1.35 per­cent.

In other en­ergy trad­ing, whole­sale gaso­line fell 2 cents to $1.63 a gal­lon. Heat­ing oil added 1 cent to $1.78 a gal­lon. Nat­u­ral gas rose 1 cent to $3.07 per 1,000 cu­bic feet.

Gold rose $1.30 to $1,329.30 an ounce. Sil­ver dropped 8 cents to $17.79 an ounce. Cop­per lost 2 cents to $2.96 a pound.

The dol­lar slid to 110.54 yen from 110.66 yen. The euro rose to $1.1914 from $1.1873. The pound jumped to $1.3398 from $1.3197.

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