The Dow Jones industrial average inched further into record territory Thursday, eking out a gain while the broader U.S. market indexes drifted lower.
The Dow’s gain came a day after the blue-chip index closed above 20,000 for the first time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index and Nasdaq composite posted small losses Thursday, snapping two days of consecutive record highs.
More stocks fell than rose on the New York Stock Exchange. Financial stocks led the gainers, while healthcare companies lagged the most.
With about 30% of the companies in the S&P 500 index serving up earnings reports this week, the quarterly report cards continued to be a focus for investors Thursday.
“Earnings have come in strong, for sure,” said Patrick Schaffer, a global investment specialist with J.P. Morgan Private Bank. “The market continues to digest some of the earnings news, and obviously markets don’t go up or down in a straight line.”
The S&P 500 index fell 1.69 points, or 0.1%, to 2,296.68. The Nasdaq slipped 1.16 points, or 0.02%, to 5,655.18. The Dow rose 32.40 points, or 0.2%, to 20,100.91.
Small-company stocks did worse than the rest of the market. The Russell 2000 slid 6.84 points, or 0.5%, to 1,375.60.
Several companies got a boost after they reported results that exceeded Wall Street’s expectations, including Sherwin-Williams. The paint and coatings company also said it expects to complete its $11.3-billion purchase of Valspar within 90 days after making a relatively small divestiture. The stock climbed 7.6% to $305.
Traders welcomed an optimistic 2017 forecast and good bookings from Royal Caribbean Cruises. The cruise operator’s stock jumped 9.1% to $95.64.
New Commerce Department data indicating that sales of new U.S. homes fell 10.4% in December didn’t weigh on PulteGroup. The home builder’s quarterly earnings and sales beat financial analysts’ estimates, lifting its shares 3.6% to $21.18.
United Rentals led the gainers in the S&P 500. The equipment rentals company announced that it would acquire construction company NES Rentals for $965 million. United Rentals vaulted 11.2% to $127.06.
A slump in toy sales over the holidays dampened Mattel’s latest results. The toy maker was the biggest decliner in the S&P 500, sliding 17.6% to $25.99.
Investors also were put off by McKesson’s fiscal third-quarter results, which were hurt by weaker-than-expected prices. Shares of the prescription drug distributor slid 8.3% to $138.55.
Whirlpool tumbled 8.5% to $173.94 after the appliance maker said Britain’s impending departure from the European Union hurt its profits.
Investors will be looking Friday to a key gauge of the U.S. economy’s health when the Commerce Department delivers its estimate of what the nation’s gross domestic product was in the final quarter of 2016.
Major stock indexes overseas were mixed Thursday.
Germany’s DAX rose 0.4%, while the CAC-40 in France slipped 0.2%. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was flat. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 surged 1.8% and South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.8%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 1.4%. Markets in China, Hong Kong, South Korea and other Asian countries are about to begin holidays of varying lengths to mark the lunar new year, curtailing trading across much of the region.
Bond prices rose. The 10-year Treasury yield slid to 2.50% from Wednesday’s 2.52%.
The dollar increased to 114.42 yen from 113.60 yen. The euro fell to $1.0692 from $1.0743.
Energy prices moved broadly higher. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose $1.03, or 2%, to $53.78 a barrel. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose $1.16, or 2.1%, to $56.24 a barrel. Wholesale gasoline rose 2 cents to $1.54 a gallon, heating oil rose 3 cents to $1.64 a gallon, and natural gas futures rose 5 cents to $3.38 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Gold fell $8 to $1,189.80 an ounce. Silver slid 13 cents to $16.85 an ounce. Copper fell 4 cents to $2.67 a pound.
Article by Associated Press.