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U.S. stocks rise as Dow flirts with 20,000 but flops

Trader Peter Tuchman wears his

Trader Peter Tuchman wears his "Dow Almost 20,000" cap on Dec. 15, 2016, as he works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The index came close on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016. Photo Credit: AP / Richard Drew

Gains for banks and travel companies pulled U.S. stock indexes to record levels Tuesday. Travel companies like cruise lines and travel websites are giving consumer-focused companies a lift while financial firms are rising thanks to a recovery in bond yields and interest rates. The Dow Jones industrial average has moved closer to 20,000, but the symbolic threshold remained just out of reach.

ON WALL STREET: At the close, the Dow was up 91.6 points, about 0.5 percent, at 19,974.6. Earlier it came within 15 points of 20,000. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up 8.2 points, about 0.4 percent, at 2,270.8, and the Nasdaq composite had gained 26.5 points, about 0.5 percent, to nearly 5,484.

OIL PRICES: As markets closed, benchmark U.S. crude was up 25 cents at $53.31 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London on the Intercontinental Exchange Europe, Brent crude, the international standard, was up 47 cents at $55.39 a barrel. Exxon Mobil Corp. shares were up 1 cent at $90.43.

BONDS: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.56 percent from 2.54 percent. Bond yields have jumped to longtime highs over the last few months but they fell sharply Monday. Higher yields allow banks to charge more money for loans, so financial firms traded higher. Goldman Sachs added $4.02 to close at $243.09.

TRAVEL LIGHT: Cruise line operator Carnival reported profit and sales that were stronger than expected. The company said bookings for trips in 2017 are stronger than they were at this time last year. It said both ticket sales and prices are up. Carnival and its competitor Royal Caribbean both gained.

With Newsday Staff

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