U.S. markets traded mixed Tuesday, Dec. 12, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped triple digits as the Federal Reserve kicked off its two-day policy meeting in Washington amid a backdrop of robust global growth and tepid inflation, a mix that has helped boost markets around the world to a series of record highs.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 105 points, or 0.42%, trading above its closing record high. The S&P 500 rose 0.16%, also hitting a record high, while the Nasdaq slipped 0.05%.
Telecom companies were showing strength with Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) - Get Report rising more than 2%. Verizon received an analyst upgrade from Instinet after announcing it reached a new, five-year agreement to stream NFL games.
Financials were also performing well while the energy and tech sectors lagged on Tuesday.
Stocks got a boost after U.S. producer prices rose 0.4% in November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Core prices, which strip out food, energy and trade, also rose 0.4%. The data reinforces the belief the Fed will raise rates for the third time this year on Wednesday, Dec. 13.
Shares of Walt Disney Co. (DIS) - Get Report were rising 0.25% after rival Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) - Get Report announced that it was no longer pursuing the purchase of entertainment assets from Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (FOXA) - Get Report .
"When a set of assets like Twenty-First Century Fox's becomes available, it's our responsibility to evaluate if there's a strategic fit that could benefit our company and our shareholders," Comcast said in a statement. "That's what we tried to do and we are no longer engaged in the review of those assets. We never got the level of engagement needed to make a definitive offer."
Shares of Xerox Corp. (XRX) - Get Report were up 0.88% following reports that said activist investor Carl Icahn wants to replace CEO Jeff Jacobson. Icahn is attempting to get four of his nominees on Xerox's board.
Boeing Co. (BA) - Get Report was up 3% after the planemaker announced a 20.4% hike to its quarterly dividend and an $18 billion share repurchase plan. Boeing will now pay out $1.71 a share, up from $1.42.
Oil stocks, including BP PLC (BP) - Get Report , which gained 1.9%, and Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS.A) , which gained 1.2%, were upside leaders after Brent crude hit a July 2015 high of $65.63 per barrel following the shutdown of the Forties North Sea Oil pipeline.
Overnight in Asia, stocks retreated from their near 10-year peak as investors prepped for the start of the two-day Fed policy meeting and kept in-the-money positions protected into the final trading sessions of the year. The region-wide MSCI Asia ex-Japan index was marked 0.07% lower into the end of the trading day while Japan's Nikkei 225 gave back 0.32% from Monday's 25-year peak to close at 22,866.17.
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