DJIA Today: Dow Futures Snap Two-Day Skid

Dow industrials proved resilient on Wednesday, rising despite renewed volatility following Donald Trump’s first news conference since the November 8 election.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 98.75 points, or 0.5%, to close at 19,954.28. The index came within 28 points of 20,000 in a session that saw higher volatility.

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Futures on the blue-chip index were up 51 points by the New York close.

Pharmaceutical Merck & Co (NYSE: MRK) led the rally, closing 2.9% higher. Tech giants IBM Corp (NYSE: IBM) and Intel Corp (NASDAQ: INTC) rose 1.4% and 1.3%, respectively.

Multinational investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) also recorded a strong session, rising 1.3%.

Energy companies Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron Corp (NYSE: CVX) each rose at least 0.8%, as oil prices mounted a recovery on news Saudi Arabia was lowering sales to some Asian markets.

A pharmaceutical company was also the biggest decliner on Wednesday. Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) declined 1.8%. Shares of consumer products company Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) finished 1.2% lower.

Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) and Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) each declined 0.8%.

Stocks were under pressure earlier in the day after President-elect Donald Trump outlined his transition process in a highly anticipated news conference. Trump was highly critical of big pharma, saying drug makers were “getting away with murder” with respect to drug prices.

“Our drug industry has gotten disastrous,” Trump said just nine days before inauguration.

The large-cap S&P 500 Index reversed course to finish 0.3% higher at 2,275.32, not far from all-time highs. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose for a seventh straight session, adding 0.2% to close at 5,563.65. The technology-heavy index has yet to fall in 2017.

Trump’s comments trimmed gains for European stocks, which still managed to eke out a second straight advance. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.2%, following a 0.1% increase on Tuesday.

In individual bourses, the United Kingdom’s FTSE 100 closed at a record for the tenth straight session, adding 0.2%. Germany’s DAX added 0.5%, while France’s CAC 40 finished flat.

Sam Bourgi is a financial market analyst for economiccalendar.com. He has more than six years of progressive experience in economic and financial analysis, research consulting and sectoral analysis. As a published author in government, peer-reviewed, online and industry sources, he has developed a fundamental approach to the financial markets with a broad focus on stock indices, commodities and the technology sector. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Windsor and Master’s degree from McMaster University.