By Caroline Valetkevitch
U.S. stocks ended with big gains for November on Wednesday thanks to a sharp post-election rally, but the S&P 500 finished the day flat as drops in utilities and technology offset energy's surge.Energy shares jumped with oil prices after OPEC agreed to cut production. U.S. oil prices rose 9.3 percent, while the S&P energy index jumped 4.8 percent.Bank shares also jumped after comments by Steven Mnuchin, President-elect Donald Trump's pick for U.S. Treasury secretary, told CNBC that tax reforms and trade pact overhauls would be top priorities of the new administration. Bank of America gained 4.5 percent.But top dividend payers likes utilities and telecommunications companies, whose stocks tend to fall as interest rates rise, declined as bond yields jumped. The S&P utility index was down 3.2 percent, while shares of AT&T fell 2.2 percent."This is related to anticipation that if, indeed, energy prices continue to rally ... it's going to benefit the U.S. energy industry, which is a significant part of our economy," said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Group in Bedford Hills, New York. "That pressures other high-income plays, because as the economy accelerates there's a greater possibility the Fed might increase their pace of interest rate hikes," he said. "It could be a reallocation of capital."
Investor expectations are high that the Federal Reserve will raise rates at its meeting next month.For the day, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 1.98 points, or 0.01 percent, to 19,123.58, the S&P 500 lost 5.85 points, or 0.27 percent, to 2,198.81 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 56.24 points, or 1.05 percent, to 5,323.68.For the month, the Dow was up 5.4 percent, the S&P 500 was up 3.4 percent and the Nasdaq was up 2.6 percent.
All three indexes hit record highs this month. Investors expect Trump's election will lead to higher spending on infrastructure and simpler regulations.Volume was well above average. About 9.5 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, compared with the 7.9 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters data.Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.53-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.82-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 65 new 52-week highs and 3 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 185 new highs and 47 new lows. (Additional reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Nick Zieminski)
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