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) 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) were rising 0.25% after rival Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) announced that it was no longer pursuing the purchase of entertainment assets from Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (FOXA) .
"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) 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.
Urban Outfitters Inc. (URBN) rose more than 3.55% on Tuesday after the company positively updated its quarter-to-date same-store sales numbers.
Boeing Co. (BA) 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) , 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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