Oil And Banks Take Dow to New Highs, But Tech Companies Dive


Technology companies plunged Thursday, and high-dividend stocks also took hefty losses as bond yields rose to their highest level in more than a year. But more big gains for blue-chip banking and oil stocks pulled the Dow Jones industrial average to a record high.

Big names like Facebook and Oracle fell as technology companies took their biggest losses in two months. Rising bond yields pushed income-seeking investors away from real estate and utility companies. Health care stocks also slumped.

Banks continued to soar as investors expect them to make bigger profits on loans as interest rates rise. Oil prices climbed for the second day after the countries of OPEC agreed to trim oil production next year.

The Dow gained 68.35 points, or 0.4 percent, to 19,191.93, its highest close on record. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index dropped 7.73 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,191.08. The Nasdaq composite fell 72.57 points, or 1.4 percent, to 5,251.11.

Bond prices continued to tumble, sending benchmark yields higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.44 percent from 2.38 percent, its highest since July 2015. That sent bank stocks higher because higher bond yields are linked to higher interest rates, which allow banks to make more money from lending.

Goldman Sachs jumped $7.34, or 3.3 percent, to $226.63 and JPMorgan Chase picked up $1.62, or 2 percent, to $81.79. Goldman is trading at its highest price since December 2007.

After a big gain Wednesday, the dollar slipped to 114.04 yen from 114.22 yen. The euro rose to $1.0645 from $1.0599. In the last few weeks the dollar has reached a 13-year high compared to other currencies. A strong dollar hurts profits and sales for companies that do a lot of business overseas, and the technology companies on the S&P 500 get almost 60 percent of their revenue outside the U.S.

Oil prices rallied again and reached their highest level since mid-October. Benchmark U.S. crude picked up $1.62, or 3.3 percent, to close at $51.06 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the standard for pricing international oils, added $2.10, or 4.1 percent, to $53.94 a barrel in London. Chevron gained $1.73, or 1.6 percent, to $113.29 and Phillips 66 rose $1.90, or 2.3 percent, to $84.98.

The price of oil soared 9 percent Wednesday after the members of OPEC, which collectively produce more than one-third of the world’s oil, agreed to a small cut in production starting in January. The price of oil has mostly traded between $40 and $50 a barrel since early April. It dipped as low as $26 a barrel in February.

In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline rose 6 cents to $1.55 a gallon. Heating oil added 7 cents to $1.65. Natural gas gained 15 cents to $3.51 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Gold fell $4.50 to $1,169.30 an ounce. Silver rose 2 cents to $16.51 an ounce. Copper picked up 1 cent to $2.64 a pound.

European stock indexes fell. Germany’s DAX lost 1 percent and in Britain, the FTSE 100 fell 0.5 percent. The CAC 40 in France shed 0.4 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 jumped 1.1 percent and the Kospi of South Korea was little changed. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong gained 0.4 percent.