Stock Indexes at Record Highs

Stock Indexes at Record Highs

NEW YORK (AP) -- Major U.S. stock indexes are reaching record highs Tuesday as big-name technology companies like Apple trade higher. Retailers including Amazon and Nike also rose. The Dow Jones industrial average traded above 19,900 for the first time. The Federal Reserve began its last policy meeting of the year, and it's widely expected to announce an increase in interest rates on Wednesday.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 113 points, or 0.6 percent, to 19,909 as of 12:20 p.m. Eastern time. The blue-chip index traded as high as 19,918. The Standard & Poor's 500 index picked up 16 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,272. The Nasdaq composite climbed 68 points, or 1.3 percent, to 5,480. The Russell 2000 index of small company stocks picked up 1 point to 1,374.

TECH IS TOPS: Some of the largest gains belong to companies that have lagged the market during its post-election rally. Those included technology and health care companies. Apple added $2.34, or 2.1 percent, to $115.64 Facebook climbed $3.29, or 2.8 percent, to $121.06. Drug companies also rose. Hepatitis C drug maker Gilead Sciences gained $2.69, or 3.7 percent, to $75.69 and Amgen rose $4.07, or 2.8 percent, to $149.83.

Meanwhile companies that have performed very well over the last five weeks took some losses. Materials companies fell, as copper and gold producer Freeport-McMoRan gave up 55 cents, or 3.6 percent, to $14.81 and fertilizer maker Mosaic slid 89 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $29.35. Industrial companies also declined, and banks, which have surged 17 percent since the election, slumped as well.

DRINK TO THAT: Japanese brewer Asahi Group said it will pay $7.8 billion to buy five beer brands in Eastern Europe from Anheuser-Busch InBev, the maker of Budweiser. The brands include Pilsner Urquell. In October AB InBev bought rival SABMiller, and during those negotiations Asahi bought a group of Western European brands including Peroni and Grolsch. AB InBev picked up $1.57, or 1.5 percent, to $105.26.

FED WATCH: Investors expect the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates when it ends a policy meeting Wednesday. The central bank last raised interest rates a year ago. It's kept rates ultra-low since the 2008 financial crisis, but its leaders have suggested the U.S. economy is improving enough to start gradually raising rates. Low interest rates have helped drive stock prices higher but they also punish savers who look for income from bank accounts and bonds.

CONSUMER CLIMBERS: Consumer-focused companies rose more than the rest of the market. Online retailer Amazon rose $21.91, or 2.9 percent, to $782.04 and shoe and athletic apparel maker Nike jumped $1.57, or 3 percent, to $53.11. Newell Brands, which owns brands including Rubbermaid, Elmer's and Mr. Coffee, picked up $1.02, or 2.2 percent, to $47.50.

HIGH FLIER: JetBlue Airways rose after the company gave a stronger-than-expected guidance for a key revenue measure and reported improvement in November. Its stock gained $1.36, or 6.3 percent, to $22.98.

DEAL DELAY: Health technology company Inovalon cut its quarterly revenue guidance by about 10 percent. It said a potential client suffered a business setback and wasn't able to complete a multi-year deal with Inovalon. The company expected $40 million in revenue from that potential client in the fourth quarter. Inovalon's stock lost $5.32, or 35.9 percent, to $9.53.

ENERGY: Energy companies rose for the fifth consecutive day. While the price of oil didn't move much, investors were encouraged that two important groups of oil producers have agreed to reduce production. Energy stocks have risen nine of the last 10 days, taking only a small loss a week ago.

Benchmark U.S. crude slid picked up 6 cents to $52.89 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, added 3 cents to $55.72 a barrel in London. Oil is trading at its highest price in more than a year after a group of oil-producing nations said they would cut production, backing up a recent deal by the nations in OPEC.

BONDS: U.S. government bond prices slipped. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.49 percent from 2.48 percent, its highest level since June 2015.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 115.25 yen from 115.12 yen. The euro edged up to $1.0636 from $1.0630.

OVERSEAS: The FTSE MIB in Italy jumped 2.5 percent and UniCredit, the largest Italian lender, soared 16 percent after it said it will unload $18.8 billion in soured loans, raise billions in cash, and cut thousands more jobs. Germany's DAX rose 0.8 percent the French CAC-40 was gained 0.9 percent. In Britain, the FTSE 100 rose 1.1 percent. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 rose 0.5 percent. The Kospi in South Korea climbed 0.4 percent and the Hang Seng of Hong Kong added 0.1 percent.

(KA)