Tags: Financial Markets

Stocks Set More Records as Health Care Companies Join Rally

Friday, 09 Dec 2016 04:36 PM

U.S. stocks are rising for the sixth day in a row Friday as major indexes continue to set records. The largest gains are going to industries that have been mostly left out of the post-election rally, including health care companies and makers of household goods. Banks, which have led that surge, are little changed.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average added 118 points, or 0.6 percent, to 19,733 as of 3:10 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 12 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,257. The index is on its longest winning streak in two and a half years. The Nasdaq composite gained 22 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5,439. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks remained at 1,386.

Major indexes are on pace for their biggest weekly gains since the presidential election.

SWITCH IT UP: Investors are buying stocks that have fallen out of favor in the last few weeks. Household goods companies have slipped since the presidential election as investors have focused on companies that could benefit more from a faster-growing economy. Health care companies are nearly flat.

Meanwhile banks hardly budged. The S&P 500 financial index has climbed 18 percent since Nov. 9, twice as much as any other sector. The S&P 500 overall is up 2.8 percent. Banks are trading at their highest prices since early 2008.

HEALTH CARE HOPPING: Health care companies bounced back. Biotech drug companies were hit hard this week after President-elect Donald Trump said he wants to reduce drug prices, but they have now recovered those losses. Pfizer added 79 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $31.73, Bristol-Myers Squibb gained $1.87, or 3.4 percent, to $57.10 and Botox maker Allergan rose $4.54, or 2.4 percent, to $193.01.

GET SOME REFRESHMENTS: Coca-Cola climbed as investors reacted positively to the company's CEO transition plans. Coke said Muhtar Kent will give up his CEO title in May, and Chief Operating Officer James Quincey, a 20-year veteran of the company, will become CEO. The stock gained 99 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $41.97.

PepsiCo gained $1.36, or 1.3 percent, to $103.51. Energy drink maker Monster Beverage also rose, as did drugstore chains CVS and Walgreens.

TECH CLIMBING: Technology stocks rose for the sixth consecutive day and neared their best week in a year-and-a-half. Still, they've slightly lagged the market since Election Day. Chipmaker Broadcom rose $6.86, or 4 percent, to $177.57 after reporting earnings that were far above expectations. The company also doubled its quarterly dividend. Apple gained $1.92, or 1.7 percent, to $114.04. Google parent Alphabet reversed its post-election losses and picked up $9.63, or 1.2 percent, to $804.80.

BONDS: U.S. government bond prices slipped again. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note inched up to 2.47 percent, its highest in about 18 months, from 2.41 percent late Thursday. That yield is used to set interest rates on many kinds of loans including mortgages.

Next week the Federal Reserve will meet for the last time in 2016. Investors expect the central bank to raise its key interest rate, and Wall Street will look for clues about the Fed's intentions about future rate increases.

MATERIALS SLIPPING: Newmont Mining lost 99 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $32.88 as the price of gold reached a 10-month low. Other basic materials makers slipped after post-election gains. Dutch chemicals company LyondellBassell Industries gave up $2.10, or 2.3 percent, to $88.44 and steel maker Nucor slid $1.38, or 2.1 percent, to $65.03.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil jumped 66 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $51.50 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, added 44 cents to $54.33 a barrel in London.

HARD TIMES: Furniture and housewares company Restoration Hardware tumbled after it slashed its full-year earnings guidance. The company said consumers have spent less in the fourth quarter because of the election, as well as a delay in shipping its Fall catalogue. Sales of its holiday collection have also disappointed. The stock lost $7.39, or 19 percent, to $31.60.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 115.31 yen from 114.20 yen. The euro fell to $1.05410 from $1.0603.

METALS: Gold lost $10.50 to $1,161.90 an ounce. Silver fell 13 cents to $16.97 an ounce. Copper picked up 2 cents to $2.65 per pound.

OTHER ENERGY TRADING: Wholesale gasoline was little changed at $1.51 a gallon. Heating oil picked up 1 cent to $1.64 a gallon. Natural gas gained 5 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $3.75.

OVERSEAS: The CAC 40 in France rose 0.6 percent and the British FTSE 100 added 0.3 percent. Germany's DAX gained 0.2 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 1.2 percent as the yen fell. The weaker yen is good news for Japanese exporters. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 0.4 percent.

South Korea's Kospi index slid 0.3 percent after legislators voted to impeach President Park Geun-hye over a corruption scandal. She has denied allegations she colluded with a confidante who extorted companies and manipulated state affairs. South Korea's prime minister will lead the country until a high court rules if Park must resign.

AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/journalist/marley-jay

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U.S. stocks are rising for the sixth day in a row Friday as major indexes continue to set records. The largest gains are going to industries that have been mostly left out of the post-election rally, including health care companies and makers of household goods. Banks,...
Financial Markets
Friday, 09 Dec 2016 04:36 PM
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