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17 September 2017, 06:54 | Kelvin Horton
Investors pushed the Dow Jones Industrials and S&P 500 to fresh record highs at the end of a week that saw the biggest five-day advance for the latter since January.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 64.86 (+0.29 percent) to close at 22,268.34 for a fourth record close. The S&P 500 index gained 4.61 points to 2,500.23, up 0.2%.
Stocks wobbled in early trading after the Commerce Department said retail sales slipped in August and the Federal Reserve said industrial production dropped last month, mostly because of Hurricane Harvey.
Industrial production in the US fell 0.9 percent in August, the biggest drop in eight years, as Harvey knocked numerous oil refining, plastics and chemicals factories out of business for a time.
In the background, there was some "market chatter" regarding stocks" then high valuations, what with U.S. stocks trading at a cyclically-adjusted price-to-earnings ratio of about 30 - a level only seen just before the Great Depression and again prior to the "Dot com' bubble. Semiconductors were among the strongest of the day, with the sector up 1.8%. Tech blue-chips Apple and Intel were among the biggest gainers.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., July 19, 2017.
Excluding the slump in auto sales, retail sales rose by 0.2% in August after climbing by 0.4% in July. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has tumbled by 1.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.2 percent and the German DAX Index is just below the unchanged line. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 22 points, or 0.4%, to 6,451, hitting a intraday record at 6,464.27.
The energy index.SPNY climbed 0.39 percent after US crude CLc1 hit $50 per barrel for the first time since August 10 on a bullish demand forecast by the International Energy Agency.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,498.
Bond prices dipped. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.20 percent from 2.19 percent. The pound jumped to $1.3354 from $1.3197.
Equifax EFX.N fell 2.35 percent after the Federal Trade Commission opened a probe into the company's massive data breach. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, gained 46 cents to $55.62 a barrel in London.
The US$226mln-valued company'sstock rose 3.5% on the news. The S&P 500 technology sector reported a gain of 0.05%.
CURRENCIES: The dollar slid to 110.19 yen from 110.26 yen.
The Fed said Hurricane Harvey is estimated to have reduced the rate of change in total output by roughly three-quarters of a percentage point. The euro rose to $1.1881 from $1.1873. The Kospi in South Korea gained 0.7 percent.
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