NEW YORK (AP) — The Dow Jones industrial average surpassed 19,000 for the first time Tuesday as a post-election rally drove indexes further into record territory. Discount store chains are leading the way after strong earnings. However health care companies are slumping, however, after weak earnings from medical device maker Medtronic.
On Monday all four major U.S. market indexes closed at all-times highs at the same time, something that hadn’t happened since 1999.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow picked up 52 points, or 0.3 percent, to 19,008 as of 2:515 p.m. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index inched up 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,200. The Nasdaq composite gained 9 points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,377. While indexes are setting records, trading volume is far lighter than it was shortly after the presidential election two weeks ago. U.S. trading will be closed Thursday for Thanksgiving and markets will close early on Friday.
SMALL STOCKS GO BIG: The Russell 2000 index, which tracks smaller companies, rose 0.4 percent. It’s setting records as well and is trading higher for the 13th day in a row.
BARGAIN HUNTING: Shoppers continued to flock to discount stores, which has helped those retailers while hurting other brands. Dollar Tree raised its profit and sales forecasts after the chain reported solid results in the third quarter. Burlington Stores also raised its outlook after it posted a larger profit than analysts expected. Dollar Tree leaped $7.03, or 8.6 percent, to $89.03 and Burlington Stores added $12.12, or 16.3 percent, to $86.30.
Other retailers like Signet Jewelers, Urban Outfitters and Target also rose as consumer stocks reached to all-time highs.
FEELING THE PAIN: Health care stocks, which are still trading lower than they were at the start of this year, took hefty losses. Medical device maker Medtronic sank $6.64, or 8.2 percent, to $73.94 after it disclosed disappointing sales and cut its profit guidance. Health care products giant Johnson & Johnson slid $2.09, or 1.8 percent, to $112.91 and Abbott Laboratories, which makes infant formula, drugs and medical devices, gave up $1.43, or 3.6 percent, to $38.33.
THE DIAGNOSIS: Matt Miksic, a medical device analyst for UBS, said some investors worried that Medtronic’s results mean a lot of drug and medical device companies will face slower growth. Miksic said Medtronic reported weak sales “across pretty much every one of their categories in the U.S.”
OUCH: Medical supplier Patterson Cos. plunged to a three-year low. The company said its dental business struggled and that it ended an exclusive relationship with dental supplier Sirona that had lasted for about a decade. Its animal health business was hurt by weak prices for brand-name drugs. Patterson cuts its profit forecast and its shares dropped $8.19, or 17.2 percent, to $39.32.
SNACK TIME: Campbell Soup’s profit in its fiscal first quarter was better than expected thanks to lower expenses and better sales of snacks like Pepperidge Farm. Hormel, the maker of Spam, reported better results from its refrigerated foods business and its Jennie-O turkey unit. Hormel also gave solid guidance for the current fiscal year. Campbell Soup gained $1.73, or 3.2 percent, to $56.78 and Hormel rose 84 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $35.78.
INDUSTRIAL POWER: Industrial companies, including makers of aircraft and engines and other equipment, continued to rise. Companies including Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman were trading around record highs before the election and they have done better than the broader market since then.
Boeing climbed $2.15, or 1.5 percent, to $149.17 and Raytheon advanced $1.20 to $147.30.
THIRSTY: Dr. Pepper Snapple Group said it will buy fruit drink maker Bai Brands for $1.7 billion. Bai Brands markets its drinks as having fewer calories than other brands and doesn’t use artificial sweeteners. Dr. Pepper Snapple stock picked up $2.33, or 2.7 percent, to $87.58.
OIL: Oil prices wobbled and energy companies fell. Benchmark U.S. crude lost 21 cents to $48.03 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 22 cents to $49.12 a barrel in London. The price of oil rose about 4 percent Monday.
BONDS: Investors continued to sell short-term bonds, which sent their prices lower. The yield on the two-year Treasury note rose to 1.09 percent, its highest in seven years. Longer-term bonds held steady and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note remained 2.31 percent.
CURRENCIES: The dollar was little changed. It slipped Monday but has been trading around 13-year highs. It slipped to 111.04 yen from 111.07 yen. The euro rose to $1.0620 from $1.0612.
OTHER ENERGY TRADING: Wholesale gasoline picked up 1 cent to $1.41 a gallon. Heating oil remained at $1.53 a gallon. Natural gas rose 3 cents to $2.98 per 1,000 cubic feet.
METALS: Gold rose $1.40 to $1,211.20 an ounce. Silver gained 11 cents to $16.63 an ounce. Copper added 3 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $2.54 a pound.
OVERSEAS: Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.6 percent. France’s CAC 40 added 0.4 percent while the DAX in Germany gained 0.3 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 dipped after a powerful earthquake in northern Japan, but the index finished 0.3 percent higher. The earthquake set off a small tsunami, but it appeared to cause only minor damage and injuries. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.9 percent and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong climbed 1.4 percent.
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