Dow sets record as others struggle
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.