Belfast Telegraph

US stocks on the rise as investors buy bank and tech shares

US stocks resumed their climb as investors bought stocks that stand to benefit from economic growth, such as banks and technology companies.

The Dow Jones industrial set another record high, with e nergy companies rising as the price of oil reached its highest level since July 2015.

Small-company stocks continued to outpace the rest of the market. Technology companies have fallen since the election as big names like Facebook and Alphabet have lost ground, but that changed on Monday.

Samantha Azzarello, global market strategist for JPMorgan Asset Management, said investors have been steadily moving money away from safe-play stocks over the past year and favouring companies that stand to do the best when economic growth picks up steam, as it did in the third quarter.

Ms Azzarello said investors expect that trend to continue.

"We've had 2 to 2.5% growth in the US and we expect that to pop even higher if we get fiscal stimulus," she said.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 45.82 points, or 0.2%, to 19216.24. Earlier it went as high as 19274. The Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed 12.76 points, or 0.6%, to 2204.71. The Nasdaq composite added 53.24 points, or 1%, to 5308.89.

Stocks of small and mid-sized companies rose sharply. The Russell 2000 index jumped 23.53 points, or 1.8%, to 1337.79.

Thanks to a big rally in November, the Russell is up 18% this year, more than twice as much as the S&P 500, which tracks large US companies.

Smaller companies, which are more domestically focused than large multinationals, could stand to benefit more than larger ones from a pick-up in US growth.

Banks resumed their post-election rally and are trading at their highest levels since early 2008. Goldman Sachs gained 2.3% to 228.55 dollars (£179.52), a nine-year high.

While stocks traded lower overall last week, banks are on a four-week winning streak since the election.

Microsoft added 1.6%, to 60.22 dollars (£47.30), and customer-management software developer Salesforce.com climbed 3.5%, to 70.80 dollars (£55.60).

Tech stocks are down about 1% since the election as investors have wondered about the effects of President-elect Donald Trump's potential trade policies.

The stocks had also reached all-time highs earlier this year.

Oil prices rose for the fourth day in a row. The price of oil has surged since Opec countries finalised a deal that will trim oil production starting in January.

That sent energy companies higher. Valero Energy gained 5% to 64.52 dollars (£50.68) and ConocoPhillips picked up 1.6% to 48.88 dollars (£38.39).

The dollar rose to 113.75 yen from 113.67 yen. The euro rose to 1.0770 dollars from 1.0660 dollars.

AP

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