Dow Jones (DJIA) Futures Extend Record Streak as Defense Contractors, Pharmaceuticals Lead

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose on Thursday for its third straight record close, helped by big pharma and defense contractors.

The blue-chip index added 45.30 points, or 0.2%, to close at 22,203.48. The Dow has gained in each of the last five sessions.

Eighteen of the index’s 30 components registered gains. Defense contractors United Technologies Corp (UTX) and Boeing Co (BA) rose 2.6% and 1.4%, respectively, as North Korea escalated the war rhetoric after it was slapped with fresh sanctions by the United Nations.

Pharmaceutical companies also posted firm gains on Thursday, with Pfizer Inc. (PFE) adding 1.9% and Merck & Co (MRK) finishing 1.8% higher. Shares of Johnson & Johnson Co (JNJ) also rose 1.4%.

On the opposite side of the ledger, The Travelers Co (TRV) insurance company declined 1.2%. The Walt Disney Company (DIS) fell 0.9%. Coca-Cola Co (KO) was also among the biggest laggards, falling 0.8%.

The broader S&P 500 Index edged lower on Thursday, slipping 0.1% to finish at 2,495.62. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index posted a loss of 0.5% to close at 6,429.09.

Equity markets have been surprisingly buoyant in September – a month that has been historically difficult for Wall Street. With the bull market in its ninth year, investors have grown weary of overvaluation.

Inflation rose hotter expected in August and moved within striking distance of the Federal Reserve’s 2% target, a compelling result ahead of next week’s FOMC meeting.

The Labor Department’s consumer price index (CPI) strengthened to 1.9% in the 12 months through August, the strongest increase in seven months. Analysts in a median estimate called for a 1.8% expansion.

Core consumer prices also rose 1.7% year-over-year, official data showed.

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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.