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Dow reaches record as rising oil pulls stocks mostly higher

NEW YORK, N.Y. – More gains in Goldman Sachs and Chevron helped pull the Dow Jones industrial average to another record high even as other indexes were flat to lower in early trading Thursday. Ford and General Motors are rising after they announced strong sales in November. Technology companies and companies that pay big dividends are trading lower.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow gained 67 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 19,190 as of 9:50 a.m. Eastern time, above the record it set last week. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell a fraction to 2,197. The Nasdaq composite fell 16 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 5,3047 as technology companies like Facebook and Yahoo slipped.

ENERGY: Oil prices continued to rise and reached their highest since mid-October. Benchmark U.S. crude picked up $1.28, or 2.6 per cent, to $50.72 a barrel in New York after it jumped 9.3 per cent Wednesday. Brent crude, the standard for pricing international oils, added $1.39, or 2.7 per cent, to $53.23 a barrel in London. ConocoPhillips rose 78 cents, or 1.6 per cent, to $49.30 and Chevron gained $1.99, or 1.8 per cent, to $113.5.

The price of oil had soared Wednesday after the members of OPEC, which collectively produce more than one-third of the world’s oil, agreed to cut production starting in January. The price of oil has mostly traded between $40 and $50 a barrel since early April. It dipped as low as $26 a barrel in February.

BANKS: Bond prices continued to fall. That yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.45 per cent from 2.38 per cent, its highest since July 2015. That sent bank stocks higher because higher bond yields are linked to higher interest rates, which allow banks to make more money from lending. Bank of America climbed 38 cents, or 1.8 per cent, to $21.49 and JPMorgan Chase picked up $1.28, or 1.6 per cent, to $81.45.

DOLLAR DOWN: Discount store chain Dollar General said its business was hurting by falling prices for some goods as well as cuts in government benefits that help people with low incomes buy food. The company’s results fell short of analyst estimates and its shares lost $4.81, or 6.2 per cent, to $72.47. Dollar General reached all-time highs this summer but has fallen after two weak quarterly reports.

FILTER DEAL: Parker-Hannifin, which makes motion and control products, said it will pay about $4 billion for Clarcor, a company that makes mobile, industrial and environmental filtration products. That values Clarcor at $83 a share. Its stock jumped $12.01, or 17 per cent, to $82.46 while Parker-Hannifin rose $3.57, or 2.6 per cent, to $142.50.

IN THE FAST LANE: Automakers were reporting their monthly sales Thursday. Ford rose 41 cents, or 3.4 per cent, to $12.37 and General Motors climbed 74 cents, or 2.1 per cent, to $35.27 after both disclosed stronger sales growth than analysts expected.

CURRENCIES: After a big gain Wednesday, the dollar rose to 114.60 yen from 114.22 yen. The euro rose to $1.0603 from $1.0599.

OVERSEAS: Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 1.3 per cent and the CAC 40 in France shed 0.3 per cent. Germany’s DAX fell 0.8 per cent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 jumped 1.1 per cent and the Kospi of South Korea was little changed. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong gained 0.4 per cent.

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AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/journalist/marley-jay