Banks Jump as Stocks Post Their Fourth Straight Gain

NEW YORK (AP) – U.S. stocks rallied for their fourth gain in a row Wednesday as banks climbed along with bond yields. On Wall Street there were signs investors were getting a bit less nervous about trade tensions.

Some of the biggest gains went to industries that have lagged the market in the last few months, including financial companies. Interest rates rose as bond prices in the U.S. and Europe fell. That can signal higher rates on mortgages and other consumer loans. Bank of America gained more than 3 percent.

Multinational companies such as Boeing and McDonald’s also rose. That helped the Dow Jones industrial average make its biggest gain in almost two months.

The S&P 500 index added 23.55 points, or 0.9 percent, to 2,772.35. The Dow rose 346.61 points, or 1.4 percent, to 25,146.39. The Nasdaq composite rose 51.38 points, or 0.7 percent, to 7,689.24. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks gained 11.32 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,675.95. The Nasdaq and Russell have set all-time highs each of the last few days.

Electric car maker Tesla surged to its biggest gain in two and a half years as investors grow more confident it will meet its production targets for the Model 3 sedan. Tesla rose 9.7 percent to $319.50.

Chairman and CEO Elon Musk said he expects the company will be able to produce 5,000 Model 3s in a single week by the end of this month. The Model 3 is Tesla’s attempt to reach the mass market with a less expensive car. Tesla has struggled to reach that target, and doing so would help the company stem its long-term losses.

Bond prices slipped. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.78 percent from 2.93 percent, and JPMorgan Chase climbed 2.3 percent to $110.36 and Wells Fargo added 2 percent to $55.58.

Banks have fallen over the last few months even though long-term interest rates have reached their highest levels in years. Health care and basic materials companies, which are essentially flat over the same period, did better than the rest of the market Wednesday. CVS Health rose 2.8 percent to $65.08 and chemical maker DowDuPont jumped 3.2 percent to $70.04.

That didn’t mean investors were ready to overlook trade issues altogether. Brown-Forman, the maker of Jack Daniel’s and other liquors, slumped 6.1 percent to $52.47. The company said it has concerns about how trade tensions might affect its business. On Tuesday, Mexico announced tariffs on bourbon and other U.S. products, and the European Union may place duties on Kentucky bourbon. The duties are in response to the tariffs on steel and aluminum imports that President Trump imposed last week.

Benchmark U.S. crude shed 1.2 percent to $64.73 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, inched down to $75.36 per barrel in London.

Wholesale gasoline fell 1.7 percent to $2.07 a gallon. Heating oil slid 0.7 percent to $2.13 a gallon. Natural gas rose 0.2 percent to $2.90 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Gold fell 0.1 percent to $1,301.40 an ounce. Silver rose 0.9 percent to $16.69 an ounce. Copper gained 2 percent to $3.26 a pound.

The dollar rose to 110.19 yen from 109.76 yen. The euro rose to $1.1768 from $1.1715.

The DAX in Germany rose 0.3 percent, as did the FTSE 100 in Britain. France’s CAC 40 lost 0.1 percent. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.4 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced 0.4 percent.