* Russell 2000, Dow Transport hit record highs
* Dow set for fifth week of gains in a row
* Indexes up: Dow 0.29 pct, S&P 0.3 pct, Nasdaq 0.37 pct
(Updates to early afternoon)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Dec 9 Wall Street hit a trifecta of records for
the third day in a row on Friday as the month-long post-election
rally got a boost from healthcare and technology stocks.
The three main U.S. stock indexes have hit a series of
record highs as investors piled into sectors such as banks and
industrials, betting that President-elect Donald Trump would
usher in a business-friendly environment.
The small cap Russell 2000 and the Dow Transport
indexes also hit record intraday highs.
With the rally about to enter its second month, however,
valuations may come under focus.
The S&P 500 is currently trading at about 17.5 times forward
12-month earnings, above the 10-year median of nearly 15 times,
according to Thomson Reuters StarMine.
"I think if you are a short-term trader, you may be looking
to take profits and you are starting to see a little bit of that
in financials," said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at
Boston Private Wealth.
The resilience of the stock market will be put to test after
the Federal Reserve's policy meeting next week, where traders
expect a 94 percent chance of an interest rate increase.
At 12:25 p.m. ET (1725 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial
Average was up 55.95 points, or 0.29 percent, at
19,670.76, easing from an all-time high of 19,684.06 earlier in
This is the 11th record high for the Dow since the election
and the index is set for its fifth week of gains in a row.
The S&P 500 was up 6.63 points, or 0.3 percent, at
2,252.82, after hitting a record of 2,255.06.
The Nasdaq Composite was up 20.09 points, or 0.37
percent, at 5,437.45. The index hit a record high of 5,450.16.
Six of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, led by a
1.03 percent rise in health stocks and a 0.5 percent
rise in technology.
Pfizer rose 2.6 percent and Merck 2 percent,
giving the biggest boost the healthcare index.
Other pharma stocks helping the index were Bristol-Myers
, which rose 3 percent after raising its quarterly
dividend; and Biogen, which gained 4.1 percent
following positive data on its Alzheimer's drug.
Financials, which have been the best performers in
the rally, were off 0.3 percent.
Broadcom was the top percentage gainer on the S&P,
rising 4.9 percent after the chipmaker reported upbeat
fourth-quarter results and doubled its dividend.
Coca-Cola rose 2.9 percent and was among the top
stocks on the Dow after the company said Muhtar Kent would step
down as chief executive and named Chief Operating Officer James
Quincey as his successor.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,542
to 1,312. On the Nasdaq, 1,528 issues rose and 1,226 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 48 new 52-week highs and no new
lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 310 new highs and 11 new lows.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Anil D'Silva)