Dow Sets Record High; Oil Slumps


Banks and other financial companies led U.S. stocks mostly higher Thursday, propelling the Dow Jones industrial average to a record high.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index, a broader measure of the stock market, also eked out a gain, adding to a big rally the day before following Donald Trump’s presidential election victory. The Nasdaq composite closed lower, weighed down by a slide in technology companies. Bond prices slumped again, sending yields higher.

The Dow climbed 218.19 points, or 1.2 percent, to 18,807.88. That’s a gain of about 1 percent from the average’s previous record high set on Aug. 15. The S&P 500 index added 4.22 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,167.48.

The Dow and S&P 500 index are on a four-day winning streak. The tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 42.28 points, or 0.8 percent, to 5,208.80.

Investors continued to act based on the bevy of possible policy changes that the new administration could implement once it takes over. Those include cutting taxes, increasing infrastructure spending and slashing government regulation of businesses.

The sell-off in bonds continued Thursday, lowering bond prices and raising the yield on the 10-year Treasury note to 2.15 percent, the highest it’s been since January, from 2.06 percent Wednesday. That yield is a benchmark used to set interest rates on many kinds of loans including home mortgages.

Traders have been selling bonds more aggressively to hedge against the possibility that interest rates, which have been ultra-low for years, could rise steadily again under Trump’s administration.

JPMorgan Chase led the 30 companies in the Dow, climbing $3.40, or 4.6 percent, to $76.65. It was followed by Goldman Sachs, which rose $8.24, or 4.3 percent, to $200.87.

Wells Fargo gained $3.64, or 7.6 percent, to $51.63, while Discover Financial Services added $3.31, or 5.5 percent, to $63.60.

The major stock indexes in Europe turned lower after an early rally. Germany’s DAX slid 0.1 percent, while the CAC-40 in France fell 0.3 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 lost 1.2 percent. Optimism that Trump’s election will improve U.S.-Russia relations helped lift the Micex index in Moscow 0.9 percent.

Markets in Asia fared better. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index rocketed 6.7 percent after sliding more than 5 percent the day before. South Korea’s Kospi advanced 2.3 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.9 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 surged 3.3 percent.

Crude oil prices declined. Benchmark U.S. crude fell 61 cents, or 1.3 percent, to close at $44.66 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 52 cents, or 1.1 percent, to close at $45.84 a barrel in London.

Other energy futures also closed lower. Wholesale gasoline slid 2 cents to $1.34 a gallon. Heating oil fell a penny to $1.44 a gallon. Natural gas lost 6 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $2.63 per 1,000 cubic feet.

In metals trading, the price of gold fell $7.10 to $1,266.40 an ounce, while silver added 36 cents, or 2 percent, to $18.74 an ounce. Copper rose 9 cents, or 3.7 percent, to $2.55 a pound.

In currency trading, the dollar continued to strengthen Thursday.

The U.S. currency rose to 106.83 yen from 105.84 yen on Wednesday, while the euro slid to $1.0890 from $1.0930. The Mexican peso continued to weaken against the dollar.

One dollar bought 20.61 pesos on Thursday, more than the 19.87 pesos it bought late Wednesday. Investors worry that Trump’s anti-immigration stance and intention to repeal a trade pact with Mexico could hurt that country’s economy.