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The Journal Gazette

December 01, 2016 1:03 AM

Banks, oil see gains as most other stocks sink

MARLEY JAY and KEN SWEET | Associated Press

NEW YORK – Stocks moved mostly lower Wednesday as gains in blue-chip energy companies and banks were not enough to make up for losses in the broader market.

The bond market took heavy losses, with the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rising to its highest level in a year and a half. The higher yields sent bond substitutes like utilities, telecommunications and real estate stocks sharply lower.

Oil stocks climbed after OPEC nations, which collectively produce more than one-third of the world’s oil, agreed to trim production for the first time in eight years.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 5.85 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,198.81 and the Nasdaq composite dropped 56.24 points, or 1.1 points, to 5,323.68.

The 30-member Dow Jones industrial average closed up 1.98 points, or 0.01 percent, to 19,123.58. The gain was attributable to big increases in a handful of Dow components, mainly Goldman Sachs, Chevron and DuPont.

The bond and energy markets saw the most drama on Wednesday. Bond prices fell sharply yet again and the 10-year note’s yield rose to 2.38 percent from 2.29 percent on Tuesday, a major move for that market. That yield is now trading at its highest level since July 2015.

The election of Donald Trump as the country’s next president has sent investors fleeing out of safe-play assets like bonds, gold and dividend-paying stocks this month and into riskier investments like small companies, which would benefit the most from a growing domestic economy.

The Russell 2000 index, which is made up of mostly small to mid-sized companies, soared 11 percent in November. That’s the biggest one-month gain for that index in five years.