Dow surpasses 19,000 in new record
The Dow Jones industrial average surpassed 19,000 for the first time Tuesday as a post-election rally drove indexes further into record territory.
Stocks opened solidly higher after setting records on Monday. They gave up some of their gains around midday but reached new highs late in the afternoon. Health-care stocks slumped after weak results from medical device company Medtronic. Retailers soared after strong earnings from Dollar Tree and Burlington Stores.
"The consumer in general is far more budget-conscious than they were in previous generations," Ken Perkins, president of research firm Retail Metrics, said of discount chains.
The Dow picked up 67.18 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 19,023.87. The Standard & Poor's 500 index added 4.76 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 2,202.94. The Nasdaq composite gained 17.49 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 5,386.35.
The Dow has closed at a record high six times in the two weeks since the presidential election, but trading volume has fallen in recent days.
In the energy market, oil prices wobbled. Benchmark US crude lost 21 cents to US$48.03 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 22 cents to US$49.12 a barrel in London. The price of oil rose about 4 per cent Monday.
Natural gas rose three cents to US$2.98 per 1,000 cubic feet. Heating oil remained at US$1.53 a gallon.
Investors continued to sell short-term bonds, which sent their prices lower. The yield on the two-year Treasury note rose to 1.09 per cent, its highest in six years. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note remained at 2.31 per cent.