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Bank Stocks Help Dow to Another Record 12/05 16:18

   U.S. stocks resumed their climb Monday as investors bought stocks that stand 
to benefit from economic growth, like banks, as well as technology companies, 
which have been mostly left out of a post-election rally. The Dow Jones 
industrial set another record high.

   NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks resumed their climb Monday as investors bought 
stocks that stand to benefit from economic growth, like banks, as well as 
technology companies, which have been mostly left out of a post-election rally. 
The Dow Jones industrial set another record high.

   Energy companies rose 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 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 favoring companies that stand to do the best when economic 
growth picks up steam, as it did in the third quarter. Azzarello said investors 
expect that trend to continue.

   "We've had 2 to 2.5 percent growth in the U.S. 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 percent, to 
19,216.24. Earlier it went as high as 19,274. The Standard & Poor's 500 index 
climbed 12.76 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,204.71. The Nasdaq composite added 
53.24 points, or 1 percent, to 5,308.89.

   Stocks of small and mid-sized companies rose sharply. The Russell 2000 index 
jumped 23.53 points, or 1.8 percent, to 1,337.79. Thanks to a big rally in 
November, the Russell is up 18 percent this year, more than twice as much as 
the S&P 500, which tracks large U.S. companies. Smaller companies, which are 
more domestically focused than large multinationals, could stand to benefit 
more than larger ones from a pickup in U.S. growth.

   Banks resumed their post-election rally and are trading at their highest 
levels since early 2008. Goldman Sachs gained $5.19, or 2.3 percent, to 
$228.55, a nine-year high. While stocks traded lower overall last week, banks 
are on a four-week winning streak since the election.

   Microsoft added 97 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $60.22 customer-management 
software developer Salesforce.com climbed $3.43, or 3.5 percent, to $70.80. 
Tech stocks are down about 1 percent 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 finalized a deal that will trim oil production starting in 
January. Benchmark U.S. oil rose 11 cents to $51.79 per barrel in New York. 
Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 48 cents to $54.94 a 
barrel in London.

   That sent energy companies higher. Valero Energy gained $3.06, or 5 percent, 
to $64.52 and ConocoPhillips picked up 76 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $48.88.

   Consumer-focused companies also did better than the rest of the market. 
Amazon jumped $19.02, or 2.6 percent, to $759.36. On Monday the online retail 
giant said it is testing a grocery store model that works without checkout 
lines.

   Health care stocks took the biggest losses. Health insurer UnitedHealth, a 
Dow component that has soared since the election, shed $3.10, or 1.9 percent, 
to $157.63 and drugmaker Merck fell 88 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $60.25.

   U.S. government bond prices recovered from a sharp drop earlier in the day 
and finished just a bit lower. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note 
edged up to 2.40 percent from 2.39 percent late Friday.

   Italian voters rejected proposed changes to the nation's constitution on 
Sunday, causing political and economic uncertainty for Europe's fourth-largest 
economy. Premier Matteo Renzi said he would resign. UniCredit, the biggest bank 
in Italy, lost 3 percent in Milan. Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the country's 
third-biggest lender, slumped 4 percent. The bank failed a stress test this 
year and has been in negotiations with investors to raise money to shore up its 
financial position.

   Italian stocks didn't move much overall, and the FTSE MIB index slipped 0.2 
percent.

   Azzarello of JPMorgan said that's because investors are getting used to 
political surprises. "After Brexit and after the U.S. election, markets are now 
braced for expecting the most extreme outcome when it comes to politics," she 
said.

   Other major European indexes finished higher. Germany's DAX added 1.6 
percent and France's CAC-40 gained 1 percent. In London the FTSE 100 advanced 
0.2 percent. Asian stocks mostly fell. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 retreated 0.8 
percent. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 0.3 percent.

   Also on Sunday, the Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit for the Dakota 
Access oil pipeline in North Dakota. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe and its 
supporters say the proposed route for the pipeline threatens the tribe's water 
source and cultural sites. It's the last major piece of construction on the 
$3.8 billion pipeline. The companies involved in the pipeline criticized the 
decision and it's not clear if the Trump administration will try to overturn 
the decision after Trump takes power in January.

   The companies connected to the pipeline traded lower Monday. Energy Transfer 
Partners lost 59 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $33.79 and Sunoco Logistics shed 43 
cents, or 1.9 percent, to $22.75. Those two companies recently agreed to 
combine.

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

   In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline remained at $1.56 a gallon and 
heating oil was unchanged at $1.66 a gallon. Natural gas jumped 22 cents, or 
6.3 percent, to $3.65 per 1,000 cubic feet.

   Gold fell $1.30 to $1,176.50 an ounce. Silver rose 7 cents to $16.90 an 
ounce. Copper jumped 7 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $2.70 a pound.


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