By Sam Forgione
| NEW YORK
NEW YORK The U.S. Dow Jones industrial average hit a record high for a third straight day on Wednesday, while U.S. two-year Treasury yields and the dollar hit multi-year peaks after upbeat U.S. economic data reinforced expectations of interest rate increases. The Dow's peak of 19,066.25 marked its third straight record intraday high, while the benchmark S&P 500 and Nasdaq slipped after touching record intraday and closing highs over the past two days. Expectations that markets would benefit from U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's policies have helped boost shares. A 0.6-percent drop in healthcare stocks, which had a sharp run higher following the Nov. 8 U.S. election, contributed to the general weakness in U.S. shares, with Eli Lilly last down 13 percent ahead of the Thanksgiving Day holiday on Thursday and an early market close on Black Friday.Gains in European industrials and energy shares buoyed stocks in the region, while financials weighed on the STOXX 600 index as Italian banks were again under pressure. Europe's basic resources index eased from a 17-month high, but remained up about 1 percent. U.S. two-year Treasury note yields rose to 6-1/2 year highs of 1.151 percent after data showed that U.S. manufactured capital goods rebounded in October, boosting expectations of faster economic growth.Short-and intermediate-dated debt has come under pressure, partly as investors worry that the Federal Reserve may raise rates faster than previously expected. Minutes from the Fed's last policy meeting are set to be released at 2 p.m. ET.
"People are in a holiday mindset today, but nothing appears to be in the horizon to derail the recent market strength," said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital in Bernardsville, New Jersey. MSCI's all-country world equity index was last down 1.34 points, or 0.32 percent, at 412.03.The Dow Jones industrial average was up 22.5 points, or 0.12 percent, at 19,046.37. The S&P 500 was down 5.29 points, or 0.24 percent, at 2,197.65. The Nasdaq Composite was off 26.10 points, or 0.48 percent, at 5,360.26.
Europe's broad FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.12 percent, at 1,345.76.The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, surged to a more than 13-year peak of 101.910, bolstered by expectations of interest rate increases by the Fed next month and in 2017."Speculation of a December rate hike reached mind-boggling levels," said Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at Forex Time Ltd (FXTM) in Croydon, England. "This could ensure dollar strength remains a key theme moving forward."
Oil prices whipped around on investors' doubts whether OPEC would agree to a production cut large enough to make a significant dent on the global supply glut when it meets next week, and last traded slightly lower.Brent crude was last down 16 cents, or 0.33 percent, at $48.96 a barrel. U.S. crude was down 5 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $47.98 per barrel.Gold slid to a 9-1/2-month low of $1,181.45 an ounce. Spot gold prices were last down $23.73, or 1.96 percent, at $1,188.13 an ounce. (Additional reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru, Jemima Kelly in London, and Karen Brettell, Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss and Catherine Ngai in New York; Editing by Nick Zieminski)
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