Turnaround in Health-Care Stocks Sends Indexes to Records

Trader Fred DeMarco, left, and specialist Frank Masiello work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Friday. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Trader Fred DeMarco, left, and specialist Frank Masiello work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Friday. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

U.S. stocks are rising Friday as major indexes continue to set records. Some of the largest gains are going to industries that have been left out of the post-election rally, including health-care companies and makers of household goods. Banks, which have led that surge, are slipping.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 62 points, or 0.3 percent, to 19,677 as of 11:18 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 8 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,253. The Nasdaq composite gained 27 points, or 0.5 percent, to 5,444.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks advanced 3 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,389. All four indexes closed at record highs Thursday and they’re on pace for their biggest weekly gains since the presidential election.

HEALTH-CARE HOPPING: Drug companies bounced back. Biotechnology companies had been hit hard this week after President-elect Donald Trump said he wants to reduce drug prices, but they have now recovered those losses. Biogen jumped $12.59, or 4.3 percent, to $302.13, and Botox maker Allergan rose $4.88, or 2.6 percent, to $193.35. Pfizer added 86 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $31.80.

TECH CLIMBING: Technology stocks rose for the sixth consecutive day. They are still slightly lagging the market since last month’s presidential election. Chipmaker Broadcom rose $8.54, or 5 percent, to $179.25 after reporting earnings that were far above expectations. The company also doubled its quarterly dividend. Apple gained $2.14, or 1.9 percent, to $114.27. The tech giant also hasn’t done much since the election. Google parent Alphabet, which has traded lower over the last month, picked up $7.91, or 1 percent, to $803.08.

TAKEOFF: United Continental rose $1.78, or 2.4 percent, to $74.52 and American Airlines leaped $1.73, or 3.6 percent, to $49.78 after both companies reported encouraging revenue measurements.

GET SOME REFRESHMENTS: Coca-Cola climbed as investors were pleased with the company’s CEO transition plans. Coke said Muhtar Kent, 64, will step down in May after eight years as CEO. He will remain chairman of the board. Chief Operating Officer James Quincey, who has worked at the company for 20 years, will become CEO. The company’s stock gained $1.07, or 2.6 percent, to $42.05.

Other consumer-goods makers also climbed. Procter & Gamble, which makes Tide detergent, Charmin toilet paper, and many other products, picked up 56 cents to $84.06. PepsiCo gained $1.31, or 1.3 percent, to $103.46. The household-goods sector is down about 2 percent since the election. Only those companies and utilities have fallen since Nov. 9.

HARD TIMES: Furniture and housewares company Restoration Hardware tumbled after its fourth-quarter forecast was far weaker than analysts had expected. The company said consumers spent less because of the election and it shipped its catalogues later than planned. The stock lost $6.46, or 16.6 percent, to $32.53. It’s down 59 percent this year.

BANKS: Financial companies were headed for a rare loss. Financial-services firm T. Rowe Price gave up $1.33, or 1.7 percent, to $77.29, and insurer Aflac shed $1.25, or 1.8 percent, to $68.37. The S&P 500 financial index has climbed 18 percent since the election. That’s twice as much as any other sector, and the S&P 500 overall is up 2.8 percent.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil jumped 57 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $51.41 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, added 19 cents to $54.08 a barrel in London.

BONDS: U.S. government bond prices slipped again. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note inched up to 2.43 percent from 2.41 percent. That yield is used to set interest rates on many kinds of loans, including mortgages.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 115.14 yen from 114.20 yen. The euro fell to $1.0541 from $1.0603.

OVERSEAS: The CAC 40 in France was up 0.5 percent and the British FTSE 100 rose 0.2 percent. Germany’s DAX rose 0.2 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 1.2 percent as the yen weakened against the dollar. 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 that 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.

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