Dow hits record high as infrastructure bill lifts cyclicals

Dow hits record high as infrastructure bill lifts cyclicals
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NEW YORK/BENGALURU (Nov 8): The Dow hit a record high on Monday as the passage of a US$1 trillion infrastructure bill lifted industrials, materials and other economy-focused sectors, while Tesla fell on top boss Elon Musk's plan to sell about a tenth of his stake.

Five of the 11 major S&P 500 sector indexes were higher after the Congress on Saturday (Nov 6) passed the long-delayed infrastructure bill hailed by President Joe Biden as a "once in a generation" investment.

"That infrastructure bill is going to put some energy into companies like 3M, Caterpillar and other companies that power the industrial sector, but we also think the materials sector is going to really benefit from that bill," said Greg Bassuk, chief executive at AXS Investments in Port Chester, New York.

Tesla Inc fell 3.0% after CEO Musk tweeted on Saturday that he would sell 10% of his holdings if users of the social media network approved the proposal. Around 57.9% of the people voted "Yes".

"While there'll be some downward pressure on Tesla in anticipation of Musk selling shares ... we think that could create a buying opportunity because nothing has changed with respect to the underlying fundamentals and the outlook," Bassuk said.

Travel and tourism stocks rallied, led by airlines, as the United States lifted travel restrictions slapped on much of the world since the Covid19 pandemic began. The S&P 1500 Airlines index gained 1.1%.

The Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index rose 1.3% to a record high.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc jumped 9.0% after it signed up Meta Platforms Inc as a data centre chip customer and announced new supercomputing chips to take on its bigger rival Nvidia Corp.

Wall Street's main indexes hit record highs last week, supported by an upbeat earnings season, strong October jobs data and a positive update on Pfizer Inc's experimental pill against Covid-19.

Investors last week also shrugged off the Federal Reserve's decision to start reducing its monthly bond purchases, put in place to support the economy during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fed officials on Monday turned their focus towards a debate over interest rate policy that is likely to intensify in the coming months, with one top official saying the conditions for a rate hike could be met next year.

At 11:57 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 54.01 points or 0.15% at 36,381.96, the S&P 500 was up 0.09 points or 0.00% at 4,697.62, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 17.89 points or 0.11% at 15,989.48.

Shares of cryptocurrency and blockchain-related firms Coinbase Global, Riot Blockchain, Marathon Digital Holdings and MicroStrategy Inc rose between 5.7% and 7.6%, as ether scaled new peaks and bitcoin neared a record high.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.56-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.38-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 49 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 184 new highs and 40 new lows.