By Wallace Witkowski, MarketWatch , Ryan Vlastelica
Fed meeting minutes do little to change stocks
The Dow industrials notched another all-time high Wednesday while other indexes lagged behind as investors appeared reluctant to press most shares higher following a string of records ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.
The S&P 500 pulled back slightly a day after finishing at a record, while the Nasdaq was pressured by a drop in biotech stocks.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 39 points to 19,063, up 0.2% on the day, after hitting an intraday record of 19,075.06.
The S&P 500 fell 1 point, or less than 0.1%, to 2,202, while the Nasdaq Composite Index declined 16 points, or 0.3%, to 5,371.
"There's some short-term protection measures being put into place, and a little bit of profit-taking. We're going into a holiday, and traders don't want to have fixed positions going into a day off, a half-day, and a weekend," said Sean O'Hara, president of Pacer ETFs Distributors.
Stocks barely budged after the Federal Reserve released minutes from its November meeting. The summary showed that policy makers agreed an interest-rate increase may be appropriate relatively soon (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fed-indicated-rate-hike-could-come-relatively-soon-fomc-minutes-show-2016-11-23).
That was no surprise to the market. A December rate hike is seen as a virtual lock (http://www.cmegroup.com/trading/interest-rates/countdown-to-fomc.html) by investors, according to CME Group's FedWatch tool.
The Nasdaq saw outsize losses due to weakness in the biotech sector, which slumped following somenegative drug trial results. Equities overall also saw some pressure from the stronger U.S. dollar , which drove a closely tracked index of the currency's strength to a 13-year high (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-becalmed-as-holiday-mood-hits-markets-2016-11-23). A stronger dollar can erode the profits of multinational companies.
See:Don't blame the dollar when the Trump rally gets smashed (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-rally-has-99-problemsbut-the-dollar-isnt-one-in-a-chart-2016-11-22)
The U.S. stock market will be closed on Thursday and will close early on Friday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-when-markets-close-on-black-friday-2016-11-18). Many traders and other market participants will be out for the holiday, which could mean a quieter market, although the lighter volume could also leave it susceptible to bigger swings if unexpected headlines occur.
The Dow, S&P, and Nasdaq--along with the Russell 2000 --all hit records on Wednesday and closed at new highs. The was the second straight session for the four to do so, the first time that the four indexes hit simultaneous and consecutive records since March 1999. Both the Dow and the S&P closed above psychological milestones on Tuesday, with the blue-chip index ending above 19,000 and the S&P topping 2,200. However, those levels hold little fundamental or technical significance.
Opinion:Why the Dow at 19,000 is no cause for celebration (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-19000-is-no-cause-for-celebration-2016-11-22)
In the latest economic data, durable goods surged 4.8% in October (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/durable-goods-orders-see-jet-fueled-48-gain-in-october-2016-11-23), in large part due to strong demand for commercial aircraft. Separately, the number of American applying for jobless benefits rose more than expected in the latest week (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/jobless-claims-jump-18000-to-251000-2016-11-23), although the increase comes just one week after claims dropped to a 43-year low.
Read: Tom DeMark now sees 5%-6% retreat for stock markets in wake of Trump rally (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tom-demark-now-sees-5-6-retreat-for-stock-market-in-wake-of-trump-rally-2016-11-22)
Stocks to watch:Eli Lilly(LLY) shares skidded 10% after the company said its Alzheimer's drug failed (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/eli-lilly-shares-slide-premarket-after-company-says-alzheimers-drug-trial-failed-2016-11-23). The decline was part of a broader fall in health care names. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) advanced 0.2% after an earlier decline.
Exclusive:T-Mobile's accounting slammed by investor group in letter to SEC (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/t-mobiles-accounting-slammed-by-investor-group-in-letter-to-sec-2016-11-23)
Also weighing on the biotech sector was Juno Therapeutics Inc. (JUNO) which plunged 27% after the company said two patients in its cancer trial had died (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/juno-therapeutics-halts-midstage-clinical-trial-after-patient-death-2016-11-23).
Deere & Co.(DE) rallied 11% after profit and sales beat expectations. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/deeres-stock-surges-after-profit-and-sales-beat-expectations-2016-11-23)Deere's results helped lift Caterpillar Inc.(CAT) 2.8%. The heavy machinery maker was the top gainer among Dow components (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/caterpillars-stock-leads-dow-gainers-after-peer-deeres-blowout-results-2016-11-23).
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co.(HPE) and HP Inc.(HPQ) both reported earnings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/hewlett-packard-revenues-shrink-just-like-the-company-2016-11-22) late Tuesday. Shares of Hewlett rose 2.4% while HP shares tumbled 6.8%.
Read:Hewlett-Packard revenues shrink, just like the company (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/hewlett-packard-revenues-shrink-just-like-the-company-2016-11-22)
Urban Outfitters Inc.(URBN) shares fell 11% after an earnings miss (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/urban-outfitters-shares-slip-after-earnings-miss-2016-11-22).
Other markets: European stocks were largely weaker, while the FTSE-100 index (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/commodity-stocks-pull-ftse-100-higher-once-again-2016-11-23) ended little changed.
Oil prices fell slightly (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-pull-back-as-investors-await-developments-ahead-of-opec-meeting-2016-11-23) on the day after U.S. inventory data from the Energy Information Administration showed a rise in stockpiles, a negative sign for demand. However, crude prices have been buffeted ahead of next week's meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Read:How an OPEC output deal could catapult U.S. producers back to stardom (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-an-opec-output-deal-could-catapult-us-producers-back-to-stardom-2016-11-23)
Gold prices (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-rally-fizzles-as-dollar-surges-on-strong-economic-data-2016-11-23) settled down 1.8% at $1,189.30 an ounce, hurt by the rise in the dollar The SPDR Gold Trust(GLD) fell sharply on the day (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-etf-has-another-day-of-pain-falls-to-lowest-since-february-2016-11-23), continuing a recent downtrend.
--Barbara Kollmeyer in Madrid contributed to this report.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 23, 2016 14:32 ET (19:32 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2016 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.