Saturday, December 16, 2017
Business

U.S. stock indexes break records as oil prices jump

NEW YORK

Major U.S. stock indexes rose to record highs on Monday, led by big gains in energy companies as the price of crude oil moved sharply higher, which is positive news for the long-struggling energy sector.

Investors also applauded several corporate deals, and technology companies, which have been lagging the market in recent weeks, posted solid gains. Makers of basic materials and utility companies also climbed.

The price of oil jumped 4 percent ahead of a meeting of OPEC countries, who collectively produce more than a third of the world's oil. OPEC has agreed on the outlines of a deal to reduce production in an attempt to support flagging oil prices, which are still far lower than they were two years ago. That would in turn lift energy company profits.

Stocks reached all-time highs over the summer and have built on those gains since the election. On Monday the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Standard & Poor's 500 and Nasdaq composite all set records. So did the Russell 2000, an index of smaller companies, and the S&P's small- and mid-size company indexes.

The last time all those indexes set records on the same day was Dec. 31, 1999, according to Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist for LPL Financial.

The Dow rose 88.76 points, or 0.5 percent, to 18,956.69. The S&P 500 climbed 16.28 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,198.18. The Nasdaq composite jumped 47.35 points, or 0.9 percent, to 5,368.86.

OPEC representatives will meet in Vienna on Nov. 30. They have agreed to preliminary terms of a deal that will trim oil production, but the details remain to be determined.

Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial, said investors are encouraged by the effort, but she doesn't think a deal, if one happens, will do much to lead to sustainably higher oil prices.

"There's nothing to suggest the agreement's going to hold," she said. "When all is said and done, supply and demand will ultimately dictate the price."

Small-company stocks have surged since the election. The Russell 2000 has risen for 12 days in a row.

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