U.S. SHARES HIT RECORD HIGHS AS TECHS, OIL PRICES RALLY

NEW YORK – The Dow, S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hit record intraday highs on Monday as Apple and Facebook propelled technology shares and oil prices boosted energy stocks.

While all the three major indexes have rallied since the US election, technology stocks had held back the S&P and Nasdaq as investors poured money into sectors such as financials, industrials and energy, which are seen benefiting from President-elect Donald Trump’s policies.

Oil prices jumped 4.2% to a near three-week high on hopes that the Opec would agree to an output cut next week and the dollar index’s first drop in 11 days.

The energy sector surged 1.8% to a 16-month high, dominating the gainers among the 11 major S&P sectors.

Chevron and Exxon rose 1% each and were the top influences.

The technology index, which had dropped 0.4% since the election, was up 0.44%, boosted by Apple’s 1.6% gain.

Facebook rose 3.3% after the company announced a US$6bil share buyback programme.

A spate of tech deals also boosted sentiment in the sector and the broader market.

“I think the (post-election rally) is continuing today but the volumes are very low. This is holiday trading and there is no conviction in the move and it’s already fading,” said Phil Davis, chief executive of PSW Investments.

At 12:54pm ET (1728 GMT) the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.40% at 18,944.29. It hit an intraday high of 18,947.44.

The S&P 500 was up 0.68% at 2,196.67, after touching a high of 2,196.98.

The Nasdaq Composite 0.78% at 5,363.07, easing after a record of 5,363.82.

Among other tech gainers was LifeLock, which surged 15.2% after Symantec said it would buy the identity theft protection company for US$2.3bil. Symantec rose 4.7%.

Applied Micro Circuits jumped nearly 12% after Macom Tech said it would buy its fellow chipmaker for US$770mil. Macom was off 4.1%.

Tyson Foods’ 14.7% slump led the losers on the S&P after the meat processor reported a lower-than-expected profit and said its CEO would step down.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,130 to 769. On the Nasdaq, 1,429 issues rose and 1,324 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed 34 new 52-week highs and three new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 188 new highs and 13 new lows.

– Reuters

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