NEW YORK: The Dow finished in positive territory on Monday (Nov 14) for a sixth straight day but other indices closed lower as a decline in the technology sector offset a steep rise in financial stocks.
The blue chip benchmark hit an all-time high shortly after 1500 GMT at 18,934.05, as investors favoured healthcare and financial stocks. But major tech companies, which may not benefit from policies under the coming Donald Trump administration, saw their share prices fall.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 21.03 points (0.11 per cent) at 18,868.69. But the broader S&P 500 slipped 0.25 points (0.01 per cent) at 2,164.20 and the Nasdaq fell 18.72 points (0.36 per cent) to 5,218.40.
Large players in the healthcare industry posted strong gains, with UnitedHealth Group rising four per cent, Anthem Inc moving up 3.6 per cent and Cigna Corporation adding 1.4 per cent.
Financial stocks were also buoyed higher: JP Morgan Chase gained 3.7 per cent, Goldman Sachs rose 2.6 per cent and Morgan Stanley finished up 2.2 per cent.
Michael James of Wedbush Securities said investors were favouring industries that the administration of President-elect Donald Trump may benefit and rotating out of those it may not.
"The biggest tech stocks continue to be the worst performers," said James, identifying financial services, healthcare and infrastructure as "those three groups that people are expecting to be the main beneficiaries of a Trump presidency."
US drug manufacturers saw share prices drop: Johnson & Johnson fell 1.6 per cent, Eli Lilly and Co lost 0.8 per cent and Pfizer finished 0.6 per cent lower.
While campaigning, Trump vowed to allow access to imported pharmaceutical products in a bid to reduce prescription drug prices.
Samsung's announcement on Monday that it would purchase the automotive electronics company Harman International saw Harman's share price finish up more than 25 per cent at US$109.72 but that was shy of Samsung's per-share offer of US$112.