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Consumer companies lead US stocks to new records

Strong earnings from Dollar Tree, Campbell's Soup lead stocks up

By MARLEY JAY Associated Press Published: November 23, 2016 4:00 AM
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NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks are rising Tuesday morning after most major indexes closed at record highs the day before. Food producers Campbell Soup and Hormel are trading higher after they reported strong quarterly results, and discount store chains Dollar Tree and Burlington Stores are climbing after raising their forecasts.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average added 37 points, or 0.2 percent, to 18,944 as of 9:45 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index picked up 4 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,201. The Nasdaq composite gained 16 points, or 0.3 percent, to 5,384. Those indexes all set records Monday after solid gains in the two weeks since the presidential election. The Russell 2000 index, which tracks smaller companies, is also trading at record highs. It is trading higher for the 13th day in a row.

SNACK TIME: Campbell Soup's profit in its fiscal first quarter was better than expected thanks to lower expenses and better sales of snacks like Pepperidge Farm. Hormel, the maker of Spam, reported better results from its refrigerated foods business and its Jennie-O turkey unit. Hormel also gave solid guidance for the current fiscal year. Campbell Soup gained $1.98, or 3.6 percent, to $57.02 and Hormel rose $1.17, or 3.3 percent, to $36.11.

BARGAIN HUNTING: Shoppers continued to flock to discount stores, which has helped those retailers while hurting other brands. Dollar Tree raised its profit and sales forecasts after the chain reported solid results in the third quarter. Burlington Stores also raised its outlook after it posted a larger profit than analysts expected.

INDUSTRIAL POWER: While the S&P 500 is at record highs, only one of its 11 industry sectors is doing the same. That's the industrial sector, which includes companies that make aircraft and engines, run railroads, and make other equipment. That index is up 5.6 percent since the election, about twice as much as the broader market, and has risen 15 percent this year.

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Aerospace and defense companies including Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman were trading around record highs before the election and have continued to rise since then.

Boeing climbed $2.36, or 1.6 percent, to $149.38 and General Dynamics advanced $1.31 to $169.74.

THIRSTY: Dr. Pepper Snapple Group said it will buy fruit drink maker Bai Brands for $1.7 billion. Bai Brands markets its drinks as having fewer calories than other brands and doesn't use artificial sweeteners. Dr. Pepper Snapple stock picked up 92 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $86.17.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude picked up 7 cents to $48.31 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 34 cents to $49.24. The price of oil rose about 4 percent Monday.

CURRENCIES: The dollar was little changed. It slipped Monday but has been trading around 13-year highs. It declined to 111.02 yen from 111.07 yen. The euro rose to $1.0619 from $1.0612.

BONDS: Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note remained 2.31 percent.

OVERSEAS: France's CAC 40 added 0.8 percent while the DAX in Germany was up 0.6 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 was 0.9 percent higher. Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index added 0.3 percent after dipping briefly following a powerful earthquake in northern Japan. The earthquake set off a small tsunami that caused minor damage and injuries. South Korea's Kospi rose 0.9 percent and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong climbed 1.4 percent.


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