Oil, bank stocks send S&P, Dow to record highs
Gains in energy and bank stocks lifted the Dow and the S&P 500 to record intraday highs on Wednesday, but losses in technology stocks dragged down the Nasdaq, Reuters reported.
Oil prices surged 8 percent after Kuwait's oil minister said the OPEC had agreed to cut production to 32.5 million barrels per day. [O/R]
The S&P 500 energy sector soared as much as 5.3 percent to a 17-month high, boosted by gains in Exxon and Chevron. Energy-related stocks were the top 20 percentage gainers on the S&P 500 index.
"I suspect this move in oil is probably temporary and may not last very long, but it is giving a boost to the market," said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab.
November is set to be Wall Street's best month since March, with the markets rallying on Donald Trump's victory in the U.S. presidential election.
Investors expect the market to benefit from Trump's policies, including higher spending on infrastructure and simpler regulations in the healthcare and banking industries.
Steven Mnuchin, Trump's pick for Treasury secretary, told CNBC that tax reforms and trade pact overhauls would be top priorities of the new administration.
U.S. private employers stepped up hiring in November and consumer spending increased last month, the latest signs of economic strength that could further cement the case for an interest rate hike.
Traders have currently priced in an 89 percent chance of the Fed raising rates at its meeting next month, according to Thomson Reuters data. A crucial monthly hiring report on Friday is likely to play a big role in the central bank's deliberations.
The financial index rose 1.2 percent, while bond-proxy sectors such as utilities and real estate were on a sell-off mode.
Fed Presidents Robert Kaplan and Loretta Mester, speaking at separate events, appeared hawkish on rates.
"Since the election, interest rate prospects in the market have been moving up, and all the economic numbers we got today were good," Frederick said.
At 12:41 p.m. ET the Dow Jones industrial average was up 68.55 points, or 0.36 percent, at 19,190.15. It hit an all-time high of 19,225.29.
The S&P 500 was up 2.03 points, or 0.09 percent, at 2,206.69 after hitting a record of 2,214.10.
The Nasdaq Composite was down 36.32 points, or 0.68 percent, at 5,343.60, weighed down by Apple and Amazon.com.
GoPro rose 3.3 percent after the wearable camera maker said it would cut 15 percent of its workforce and shut its entertainment business.
Teen apparel retailer American Eagle Outfitters dropped 13.5 percent to $16.35 after providing a disappointing profit forecast for the crucial holiday quarter.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,643 to 1,262. On the Nasdaq, 1,651 issues fell and 1,101 advanced.
The S&P 500 index showed 57 new 52-week highs and one new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 152 new highs and 33 new lows.