Dow Limps To Record Close, Buoyed By Goldman As Broader Stock Rally Sputters

By Markets MarketWatch Pulse

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Thursday finished at a record to kick of December trade, following upbeat manufacturing data and a continuation of oil's sharp gains, in the wake of a surprise agreement on Wednesday to curb crude-oil production. But the tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index ended with its worst daily drop since Oct. 11, according to FactSet data. Some market strategist said tech has been weighed down by a U.S. dollar that has been hovering around its highest levels since 2003, though it pulled back on Thursday, in the aftermath of the Nov. 8 presidential election. A stronger dollar can make goods sold abroad more expensive to buyers using other currencies. The Nasdaq ended off 72 points, or 1.4%, at 5,251, while the S&P 500 index gave up about 7 points, or 0.4%, to close at 2,191. The S&P 500's tech sector, off 2.3%, real-estate, down 1.6%, and utilities, 0.9% lower, were the worst performers among the broad-stock benchmark's 11 sectors. Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. contributed about 50 points to the Dow's rise, supporting the blue-chip gauge in an otherwise downbeat day of trade. Goldman is trading at its highest level since before the 2008 financial crisis, as bank shares enjoy a lift from the prospect of looser regulations under new leadership in the White House and an interest-rate hike by the Federal Reserve in two weeks. The Dow finished up 68 points, or 0.4%, at 19,191, marking a new all-time closing high. On the energy front, crude futures settled at their best level in six-weeks, at $51.06 a barrel, after the OPEC-fueled rally entered a second day. Traders will look ahead to Friday's employment report, which could have some impact on market sentiment, with investors already making big bets that Trump will offer fresh stimulus and tax cuts to the U.S. economy.

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