12/05/2016

The Dow set an all-time high on Monday, extending a post-election rally, supported by gains in financial stocks such as Goldman Sachs.

The Dow has been enjoying a record-setting rally, largely led by bank and industrial stocks, which are expected to benefit the most from higher spending on infrastructure and simpler regulations under a Donald Trump administration.

The index has risen 5 percent since the Nov. 8 vote, while the S&P financial index .SPSY has surged 14.3 percent.

Goldman Sachs rose 1.5 percent to $226.50 and provided the biggest boost to the Dow, after HSBC initiated coverage on the investment bank with a "buy" rating and a $250 price target.

Nine of the 11 S&P sectors were higher, with financials' 1 percent rise leading the gainers. Defensive sectors, utilities .SPLRCU and real estate .SPLRCR, were the laggards.

Investors also appeared to largely shrug off the resignation of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi following a defeat in a referendum for constitutional reforms on Sunday.

Adding to the upbeat mood was Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans who said that conditions were ripe for inflation to rise to the Fed's 2 percent target, given the policies Trump has earmarked for the next few years.

At 9:42 a.m. ET (1442 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 76.35 points, or 0.4 percent, at 19,246.77, after hitting a record intraday high of 19,261.57.

The S&P 500 was up 8.77 points, or 0.4 percent, at 2,200.72 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 20.00 points, or 0.38 percent, at 5,275.65.

Shares of Energy Transfer dropped 4.2 percent to $32.94 after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers turned down a permit for the company's controversial pipeline project running through North Dakota.

FairPoint shares jumped 13 percent after Consolidated Communications said it would buy the broadband service provider in an all-stock deal valued at $1.5 billion, including debt.

Chesapeake Energy rose 3.8 percent to $7.50 after the U.S. natural gas producer said it would sell a part of its acreage in the Haynesville Shale area for $450 million to a private company.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,050 to 640. On the Nasdaq, 1,845 issues rose and 532 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed 33 new 52-week highs and one new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 77 new highs and three new lows.

By Yashaswini Swamynathan - Reuters; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)