Dow hits record as Chevron, Verizon gain on Buffett buys

Warren Buffett gives Verizon, Chevron a little love

U.S. equity markets finished mixed Wednesday as investments made by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway boosted the Dow to a record high while investors kept a watchful eye on the bond market.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 91 points, or 0.29%, to finish in record territory for the third straight day as Chevron Corp. and Verizon Communications rallied on the news that Berkshire raised its stake in the two companies.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES31443.26-518.60-1.62%
CVXCHEVRON CORP.102.47-0.85-0.82%
VZVERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC.56.48-0.65-1.13%

The conglomerate exited positions in Pfizer Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and PNC Financial Services Group Inc, according to a 13-F filing, while also trimming its holdings in Apple Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
JPMJP MORGAN CHASE & CO.151.51-1.59-1.04%
PNCPNC FINL SVC175.06-3.51-1.97%
AAPLAPPLE INC.121.69-3.66-2.92%
WFCWELLS FARGO & COMPANY37.54-0.72-1.88%

While the Dow gained, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite slid 0.03% and 0.58%, respectively, as investors weighed rising interest rates.

Bond Yields Rising

The benchmark 10-year yield was on the rise again Wednesday, ticking above 1.32%, after a report showed producer prices rose 1.3% month over month in January, faster than the 0.4% increase that analysts were anticipating.

The jump in producer prices put a damper on the strong retail sales report, which showed a 5.3% month-over-month increase in January compared with the 1.1% gain that was expected.

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Elsewhere, Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. reported a surprise quarterly loss as a resurgence in COVID-19 cases resulted in tighter travel restrictions and fewer bookings. Revenue per available room, a key industry metric, was down 59% year over year.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
HLTHILTON WORLDWIDE HOLDINGS INC.123.33-3.98-3.13%

Shopify Inc. posted stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings and revenue but warned 2021 revenue growth will be slower than last year as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
SHOPSHOPIFY INC1,239.74-61.60-4.73%

In deals, oil and gas pipeline company Energy Transfer LP agreed to buy natural gas liquids transportation provider Enable Midstream Partners for $7.2 billion, including debt. The deal pays Enable common unitholders 0.8595 Energy Transfer common units for each unit they own.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
ETENERGY TRANSFER8.09-0.02-0.25%
ENBLENABLE MIDSTREAM PARTNERS LP6.92-0.12-1.78%

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil added $1.09 to $61.14 per barrel as wintry weather kept production idled across parts of Texas. Elsewhere in the complex, gold traded down $26.10 to $1,771.10 an ounce.

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European markets were lower with France’s CAC 40 slipping 0.36%, Britain’s FTSE 100 down 0.56% and Germany’s DAX 30 weaker by 1.1%.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.58% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index added 1.1%. China’s Shanghai Composite remained closed in observance of the Lunar New Year.