Dow hits new high as stocks post July gains

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The Dow maintained its momentum and climbed toward a new record high on Monday, while U.S. stocks closed a positive month of July.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 60 points, or 0.3%, to 21,891. The S&P 500 inched about 2 points lower to 2,470. The Nasdaq Composite fell 26.5 points, or 0.4%, to 6,348.

Robust corporate profits have carried the Dow over the last week. Several members of the blue-chip index, including Boeing (NYSE:BA), Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) and McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD), reported better results than expected for the second quarter. According to Thomson Reuters data, U.S. corporations are expected to report a second straight quarter of double-digit earnings growth, the first such streak since 2011.

Meanwhile, tech stocks dragged down the Nasdaq in the latest session. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), which hit a record high last week, was down 1.9%.

Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE:SNI) rose less than 1% after Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA) announced a deal to buy the HGTV owner for $14.6 billion. Discovery fell 8.2%.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) dropped 3.5% after CEO Elon Musk warned that production of the mass-market Model 3 would create “manufacturing hell” for the electric car maker.

In economic news, pending home sales bounced back in June. Signed contracts to buy existing homes rose 1.5% last month, according to the National Association of Realtors. May pending home sales were also revised a bit higher.

Nymex West Texas Intermediate oil rose 0.9% to $50.17 a barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, climbed 2.2% to $52.62 in recent trading.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.288% from 2.291%.

Monday capped a strong month for the stock market, helped in part by the Federal Reserve’s affirmation that it will move gradually to unwind its portfolio. Economists also don’t expect another rate hike until the central bank’s December meeting.

The Nasdaq ended July with a 3.41% monthly gain, leading the way among the three major indices. The Dow was up 2.55%, and the S&P advanced about 1.93%.