Dow tops 19,000 as retailers lead stocks to new records


NEW YORK (AP) — The Dow Jones industrial average crossed 19,000 for the first time as the stock market extended its reach further into record territory. The gains came a day after four major market indexes closed at all-times highs at the same time, something that hadn’t happened since 1999.

Retailers are surging as discount store chains Dollar Tree and Burlington Stores raising their forecasts. Food producers Campbell Soup and Hormel are climbing after they reported strong quarterly results.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow was up 24 points, or 0.1 percent, to 18,892 as of 10:52 a.m. Earlier it went as high as 19,014. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index picked up 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,200. The Nasdaq composite gained 12 points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,381. The Russell 2000 index, which tracks smaller companies, rose 0.4 percent. It’s setting records as well and is trading higher for the 13th day in a row.

BARGAIN HUNTING: Shoppers continued to flock to discount stores, which has helped those retailers while hurting other brands. Dollar Tree raised its profit and sales forecasts after the chain reported solid results in the third quarter. Burlington Stores also raised its outlook after it posted a larger profit than analysts expected. Dollar Tree leaped $8.38, or 10.2 percent, to $90.37 and Burlington Stores added $9.88, or 13.3 percent, to $84.06. Competitor Dollar General gained $3.01, or 3.9 percent, to $79.75.

SHINING: Jeweler Signet raised its outlook and its stock picked up $5.61, or 6.3 percent, to $94.49. With Signet and other retailers like Urban Outfitters and Target making big gains, consumer stocks rose to all-time highs.

SNACK TIME: Campbell Soup’s profit in its fiscal first quarter was better than expected thanks to lower expenses and better sales of snacks like Pepperidge Farm. Hormel, the maker of Spam, reported better results from its refrigerated foods business and its Jennie-O turkey unit. Hormel also gave solid guidance for the current fiscal year. Campbell Soup gained $1.77, or 3.2 percent, to $56.81 and Hormel rose 57 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $35.51.

OUCH: Medical supplier Patterson Cos. plunged to a three-year low. The company said its dental business struggled and that it ended an exclusive relationship with dental supplier Sirona that had lasted for about a decade. Its animal health business was hurt by weak prices for brand-name drugs. Patterson cuts its profit forecast and its shares dropped $9.35, or 19.7 percent, to $38.16. Health care stocks took losses as medical device maker Medtronic sank $7, or 8.7 percent, to $73.58 after it disclosed disappointing sales. Edwards Lifesciences sank $4.09, or 4.6 percent, to $85.11.

INDUSTRIAL POWER: While the S&P 500 is at record highs, only one of its 11 industry sectors is doing the same. That’s the industrial sector, which includes companies that make aircraft and engines, run railroads, and make other equipment. That index is up 6 percent since the election, about twice as much as the broader market. Aerospace and defense companies including Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman were trading around record highs before the election and have continued to rise since then.

Boeing climbed $1.90, or 1.3 percent, to $148.92 and General Dynamics advanced 87 cents to $169.30.

THIRSTY: Dr. Pepper Snapple Group said it will buy fruit drink maker Bai Brands for $1.7 billion. Bai Brands markets its drinks as having fewer calories than other brands and doesn’t use artificial sweeteners. Dr. Pepper Snapple stock picked up $1.59, or 1.9 percent, to $86.84

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude dipped 25 cents to $47.99 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 8 cents to $48.98. The price of oil rose about 4 percent Monday.

CURRENCIES: The dollar was little changed. It slipped Monday but has been trading around 13-year highs. It rose to 111.30 yen from 111.07 yen. The euro fell to $1.0595 from $1.0612.

BONDS: Bond prices slipped. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged up to 2.32 percent from 2.31 percent.

OVERSEAS: Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.8 percent. France’s CAC 40 added 0.7 percent while the DAX in Germany was up 0.6 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock index finished 0.3 percent higher. It dipped briefly following a powerful earthquake in northern Japan. The earthquake set off a small tsunami, but it appeared to cause only minor damage and injuries. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.9 percent and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong climbed 1.4 percent.

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AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/journalist/marley-jay

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