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Dow rises to record high as energy firms keep climbing

Major US stock indexes set records again on Tuesday as energy companies continued to climb following international deals that will cut oil production.

Big-name technology companies like Apple and IBM also traded higher as the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 19,900 for the first time.

The Dow finished at an all-time high for the seventh consecutive trading day with the biggest gain going to IBM, while Apple and Exxon Mobil also finished near the top.

Energy companies rose for the ninth day out of the last 10 as investors anticipated steadier oil prices and larger profits.

Technology companies also jumped, moving higher in the last few days after they had mostly lagged the market during its post-election rally.

JJ Kinahan, TD Ameritrade's chief strategist, said stocks surged since the presidential election because, after a long campaign, investors have a better idea which policies the country will adopt.

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 114.78 points, or 0.6%, to 19,911.21. The blue-chip index went as high as 19,953. The Standard & Poor's 500 index picked up 14.76 points, or 0.7%, to 2,271.72. The Nasdaq composite climbed 51.29 points, or 0.9%, to 5,463.83.

Energy companies rose for the fifth consecutive day. Exxon Mobil climbed 1.60 US dollars (£1.26), or 1.8%, to 92.58 dollars (£73.11) and Noble Energy advanced 1.80 dollars (£1.42), or 4.5%, to 41.64 dollars (£32.88).

Opec countries agreed on November 30 to trim oil production next year, and over the weekend a group of 11 other nations also agreed to make cuts with the aim of propping up the price of oil following a two-year slump.

Technology companies jumped as a group of tech executives, including the CEOs of Apple and Microsoft, prepare to meet with President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Apple added 1.89 dollars (£1.49), or 1.7%, to 115.19 dollars (£90.97). IBM was the biggest gainer on the Dow, as it picked up 2.79 dollars (£2.20), or 1.7%, to 168.29 dollars (£132.90).

Consumer-focused companies rose more than the rest of the market with online retailer Amazon rising 14.22 dollars (£11.23), or 1.9%, to 774.34 dollars (£611.52).

Some companies that have performed very well over the last five weeks lost ground. Basic materials and industrial companies traded slightly lower and banks, which have soared since the election, rose less than the rest of the market, and l arger companies did much better than smaller ones.

Investors expect the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates when it ends a policy meeting on Wednesday.

The central bank last raised interest rates a year ago. It has kept rates very low since the 2008 financial crisis, but its leaders have suggested the US economy is improving enough that it is time to start gradually raising rates.

Government bond prices rose slightly. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note dipped to 2.47% from 2.48%, its highest level since June 2015.

Gold fell 6.80 dollars (£5.37) to 1,159 dollars (£915.30) an ounce.

The FTSE MIB in Italy jumped 2.5% and UniCredit, the largest Italian lender, soared 16% after it said it will unload 18.8 billion dollars (£14.85 billion) in soured loans, raise billions in cash, and cut thousands more jobs.

Germany's DAX rose 0.8% and the French CAC-40 gained 0.9%. In Britain, the FTSE 100 rose 1.1%. Blue-chip stocks also led the way in Europe.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 rose 0.5%. The Kospi in South Korea climbed 0.4% and the Hang Seng of Hong Kong added 0.1%.

AP

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