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Dow reaches records again as energy companies surge

The Dow Jones industrial average is trading at a record high Wednesday as blue-chip energy companies and banks surge. Oil stocks climbed after countries in OPEC, which collectively produce more than one-third of the world’s oil, agreed to trim production for the first time in eight years. Banks are also rising sharply as bond yields and interest rates increase.

Other U.S. indexes are little changed or lower as high-dividend stocks like utilities, real estate companies and phone companies fall. Technology and health care companies were also taking losses.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow rose 76 points, or 0.4 percent, to 19,197 as of noon Eastern time. Earlier it touched an all-time high of 19,225. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index edged up 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,207 and also set an intraday record of 2,214 shortly after the start of trading. The Nasdaq composite lost 34 points, or 0.6 percent, to 5,346.

OIL WATCH: OPEC members finalized a deal that will cut their oil output by 1.2 million barrels a day starting in January. Preliminary terms of the deal were announced in September. It’s the first time in eight years that the cartel has agreed to cut production. Russia, another major oil-producing country that is not part of OPEC, also agreed to cut its output.

The price of U.S. crude surged $3.70, or 8.2 percent, to $48.93 a barrel in New York, about where it as in late October. Brent crude, the international benchmark, gained $3.99, or 8.4 percent, to $51.31 a barrel in London.

Crude dropped almost 4 percent Tuesday as investors felt a deal was becoming less likely.

ENERGY COMPANIES: Higher oil prices mean more revenue for companies that extract or sell oil, and energy companies made big gains Wednesday morning. Exxon Mobil picked up $2.06, or 2.4 percent, to $87.97 and Chevron rose $3.43, or 3.1 percent, to $112.77. Marathon Oil leaped $3.41, or 22.8 percent, to $18.36.

BANKS: Banks rose as members of President-elect Donald Trump’s economic team discussed ways to make it easier for banks to lend more money, which could lead to larger profits for financial institutions. Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s proposed nominee for Treasury secretary, said the administration wants to make changes to the 2010 Dodd-Frank law because it makes it harder for banks to lend. The law was passed to prevent another financial crisis, but critics say it went too far and stopped banks from making loans that people and businesses need to spend and hire.

Goldman Sachs rose $8.14, or 3.8 percent, to $219.89 and JPMorgan Chase added $1.11, or 1.4 percent, to $80.08. Fifth Third Bancorp gained 66 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $26.05.

BLUE CHIPS CASH IN: The gains were concentrated among a small number big-name companies. Goldman Sachs and Chevron alone accounted for all of the gain in the Dow, which contains just 30 stocks. On the New York Stock Exchange, more stocks were falling than rising.

BONDS: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note jumped to 2.39 percent from 2.29 percent, its highest level since mid-2015. Bond yields are linked to higher interest rates.

High-dividend stocks slumped. Investors who want income tend to buy those stocks when bond yields are low and then sell them again when bond yields rise.

Utilities, real estate investment trusts and phone companies took the largest losses on the market. Duke Energy lost $2.13, or 2.8 percent, to $74.24. Mall operator Simon Property Group gave up $3.52, or 1.9 percent, to $178.78.

TECH TRIPPED UP: Technology companies were in decline. Design software company Autodesk dropped $2.86, or 3.8 percent, to $72.40 after it gave a weak revenue outlook for the current quarter. Credit card companies fell, too. Visa dipped $1.20, or 1.5 percent, to $77.95 and MasterCard skidded $1.48, or 1.4 percent, to $102.34.

HEALTH SCARE: Losses for drugmakers and medical device and equipment companies pulled health care stocks lower. Cancer drug maker Celgene lost $2.43, or 2 percent, to $119.70 and medical device maker Becton Dickinson slid $2.77, or 1.6 percent, to $169.96 while genetic testing tools maker Illumina fell $4.75, or 3.5 percent, to $131.79.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose. It climbed to 114.26 yen from 112.33 yen. The euro fell to $1.0586 from $1.0647.

OVERSEAS: France’s CAC 40 added 0.6 percent. The FTSE 100 in Britain and Germany’s DAX both picked up 0.2 percent. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 was flat and the Kospi of South Korea gained 0.3 percent. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng gained 0.2 percent.


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