By Corrie Driebusch and Akane Otani

The Dow Jones Industrial Average breached 19000 for the first time early Tuesday, a day after multiple U.S. stock indexes hit records.

It has been a fast surge for the blue-chip index, which closed below 18000 less than three weeks ago. Since then, a rally following the U.S. presidential election disparately benefited industrial companies and banks.

That has led to an unusual dynamic: the Dow industrials are on track to post a stronger yearly performance than the S&P 500 for the first time since 2011.

The Dow's late year rally is at odds with the index's performance at the start of the year. In January, worries about tumbling Chinese stocks and weak U.S. economic data sent the blue-chip index to its worst-ever five-day start to a year.

U.S. economic data have since improved, and investors have re-embraced stocks. The election of Donald Trump also renewed demand for companies tied to economic growth, particularly in the manufacturing sector.

Banks also are new stock-market darlings, as investors have bet on loosened regulation under Mr. Trump as well as greater inflation.

"People are now thinking the glass is half full," said Jimmy Chang, chief investment strategist at Rockefeller & Co., referring to the stock market's postelection rally. Talk about tax cuts, looser regulation and infrastructure spending are contributing to investors' optimism, he added.

Since the election on Nov. 8, the Dow industrials were up 3.4% through Monday's close, while the S&P 500 was up 2.7%.

Big banks have led that rally, with Goldman Sachs Group contributing nearly 200 points of the Dow's 624-point gain in that time.

The Dow industrials are now on track to end the year up 8.9%, while the S&P 500 is on pace to finish 2016 up 7.5%.

On Tuesday, the Dow industrials rose 20 points, or 0.1%, to 18977, after earlier reaching as high as 19014.73. The S&P 500 slipped less than 0.1%, dragged lower by health-care and energy stocks, and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.2%.

All three major U.S. stock indexes -- plus the Russell 2000 index of small-capitalization stocks -- closed at records Monday.

The strength in the recent rally belies the lack of clarity about the policy implications of a Trump administration, some analysts say.

"There's always the danger that you jump to conclusions way too fast because a lot of these expected benefits will take time to pan out," Mr. Chang said.

Other possible contributors to stock-market swings could include an acceleration in the recent selloffin bonds, a strengthening dollar weighing on corporate earnings, or the Trump administration enacting protectionist policies that could hurt multinational companies, some analysts and traders said.

On Tuesday, falling oil prices dragged energy shares lower as some investors expressed doubt that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries would agree to production cuts at an upcoming meeting.

U.S. crude oil fell 1.8% to $47.38 a barrel. Energy shares in the S&P 500 fell 0.8%, with Murphy Oil, Newfield Exploration Company and Noble Energy posting some of the steepest losses.

In currencies, the WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the U.S. currency against a basket of 16 others, was up 0.2% after snapping a 10-trading day winning streak Monday.

Government bonds strengthened, sending yields lower. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note was 2.299% recently, according to Tradeweb, down from 2.335% Monday. That compares with a close of 1.867% on Election Day.

Earlier, the Stoxx Europe 600 gained 0.2%. The Nikkei Stock Average recovered to close up 0.3%, after falling in response to a 6.9-magnitude earthquake that struck off the eastern coast of Japan early Tuesday. Australia's energy-heavy S&P ASX/200 rose 1.2%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 1.4%.

-- Christopher Whittall contributed to this article.

Write to Corrie Driebusch at corrie.driebusch@wsj.com and Akane Otani at akane.otani@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 22, 2016 13:33 ET (18:33 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2016 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.