U.S. Stock Indexes Bust Records as Oil Prices Jump

NEW YORK (AP) -
Trader Gregory Rowe (L) works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Trader Gregory Rowe (L) works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Major U.S. stock indexes rose to record highs on Monday, led by big gains in energy companies as the price of crude oil moved sharply higher, which is positive news for the long-struggling energy sector.

Investors also applauded several corporate deals, and technology companies, which have been lagging the market in recent weeks, posted solid gains. Makers of basic materials and utility companies also climbed.

The price of oil jumped 4 percent ahead of a meeting of OPEC countries, who collectively produce more than a third of the world’s oil. OPEC has agreed on the outlines of a deal to reduce production in an attempt to support flagging oil prices, which are still far lower than they were two years ago. That would in turn lift energy company profits.

Stocks reached all-time highs over the summer and have built on those gains since the election. On Monday the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Standard & Poor’s 500, and Nasdaq composite all set records. So did the Russell 2000, an index of smaller companies, and the S&P’s small- and mid-size company indexes.

The last time all those indexes set records on the same day was Dec. 31, 1999, according to Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist for LPL Financial.

The Dow rose 88.76 points, or 0.5 percent, to 18,956.69. The S&P 500 climbed 16.28 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,198.18. The Nasdaq composite jumped 47.35 points, or 0.9 percent, to 5,368.86.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose to its highest price this month. It gained $1.80, or 3.9 percent, to $47.49 a barrel while Brent crude, the international standard, rose $2.04, or 4.4 percent, to $48.90 a barrel in London. That led to gains for energy companies. Marathon Oil added 86 cents, or 5.5 percent, to $16.48 and Exxon Mobil added $1.21, or 1.4 percent, to $86.49.