(Changes day of week to Tuesday in 11th paragraph)
* Industrials gain on strong data, Deere results
* Eli Lilly plunges after halting drug trial
* Dow up 0.3 pct, S&P up 0.1 pct, Nasdaq down 0.1 pct
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK, Nov 23 The Dow and the S&P 500 eked
out record high closes on Wednesday ahead of the Thanksgiving
holiday, helped by gains in industrial stocks, though losses in
technology shares limited the advance and weighed on the Nasdaq.
Caterpillar rose 2.7 percent and hit the highest in
about two years, while Deere jumped 11 percent to a
record high close after the farm equipment maker reported a much
smaller-than-expected decline in profit.
Industrial stocks also were given a boost by a report that
showed a strong jump in orders for durable goods in October due
to demand for machinery and other equipment.
The industrial index, up 0.8 percent on the day,
has risen 7 percent since the Nov. 8 U.S. election on bets that
President-elect Donald Trump's plans to boost infrastructure
spending would benefit the industry. The Dow transportation
average jumped 1 percent.
Stocks had little reaction to minutes from the latest
Federal Reserve meeting, which showed policymakers appeared
confident on the eve of the U.S. election on Nov. 8 that the
economy was strengthening enough to warrant interest rate
Expectations among investors remained high that the Fed will
raise rates in December.
"It's fully factored in," said John Traynor, executive vice
president and chief information officer of People's United
Wealth Management in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
"What you're seeing right now is a lot of portfolio
repositioning. Those are people who had a portfolio built for a
slower-growth environment and are now moving to position
themselves for a different administration and a different
Volume was lighter than usual, with many market participants
heading out early ahead of the U.S. Thanksgiving Day holiday on
Thursday. The U.S. stock market will be closed on Thursday and
will close early on Friday.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 59.31 points,
or 0.31 percent, to end at 19,083.18, while the S&P 500
gained 1.78 points, or 0.08 percent, to 2,204.72 and the Nasdaq
Composite dropped 5.67 points, or 0.11 percent, to
On Tuesday, the Dow closed above 19,000 for the first time
and all three indexes, along with the small-cap Russell 2000
, ended at record highs.
Traynor and others said a pullback could be in order soon
given the sharp recent run higher.
"We're advising clients the market is ahead of itself so be
prepared for a pullback," he said.
Eli Lilly fell 10.5 percent to $68 after the
company said it would stop developing its Alzheimer's drug
following a trial failure.
Biogen, which is developing a similar drug, fell
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a
1.02-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.43-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 66 new 52-week highs and three new lows;
the Nasdaq Composite recorded 321 new highs and 21 new lows.
About 6.5 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges,
compared with the 8.1 billion daily average for the past 20
trading days, according to Thomson Reuters data.
(Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Jonathan Oatis)