Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Dow Passes 20,000 for the First Time Index Has Climbed since Election Day

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Dow Passes 20,000 for the First Time Index Has Climbed since Election Day

Article excerpt

The stock market's post-election exuberance catapulted the Dow Jones Industrial Average above 20,000 for the first time Wednesday, a psychological milestone that most investment professionals believe represents little more than a nice round number.

The achievement caps the index's climb since Nov. 8, when voters cast their fate with President Donald Trump and his promises to cut corporate taxes, slash regulations, boost infrastructure spending and put America first.

"We were trading in a range for a long time over the summer in anticipation of what the election results would be," said Daniel Henderson of Cookson, Peirce & Co., a Downtown investment management firm.

He said the market's post-election rally reflects optimism that Mr. Trump will make good on his campaign promises, a belief that Mr. Henderson said is justified given the new president's swift actions since taking office.

The Dow finished Wednesday at 20,068.51, up 155.80, capping a 9 percent climb since election day.

The S&P 500, a broader index that professionals say better reflects the U.S. economy, closed at 2,298.37, up 18.30. The S&P 500 has risen 7 percent since the election.

And the Nasdaq, which has a higher concentration of technology stocks, rose 55.38 on Wednesday to finish at 5,656.34. That left it 9 percent higher than it was when the market closed Nov. 8.

Regional stocks were paced Wednesday by Universal Stainless & Alloy Products. The Bridgeville specialty steel producer reported fourth-quarter earnings that met Wall Street expectations. Its shares jumped 10 percent to finish at $16.78, up $1.54.

The two other biggest gainers on a percentage basis were metals industry supplier Ampco-Pittsburgh, up 85 cents to $15.80 per share, and Cranberry-based MSA Safety, which rose $3.40 to finish at $71.62.

Downgrades by several investment firms make AK Steel the biggest loser among regional stocks.

It closed down 42 cents at $8.26. The West Chester, Ohio, steelmaker was joined by two other metals producers. U.S. Steel shed $1.07 to close at $32.15, while Alcoa slipped 97 cents to $36.53.

The Dow, composed of the stocks of 30 large companies, is not the market barometer it once was. …

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