- U.S. equities rally to new all-time highs on Monday, with the Dow adding as much as 126 points.
- Boeing, the Dow’s largest component, rallied as much as 3.8%.
- Lackluster reports from the Commerce Department cast a shadow over the U.S. economy.
The Dow and broader U.S. stock market rallied to new all-time highs Monday, as dismal economic data were no match for investors’ exuberance in a holiday-shortened week.
Dow Rallies; S&P 500, Nasdaq Follow
All of Wall Street’s major indexes topped their previous highs at the start of the week, reflecting an upbeat session for Dow Jones futures. The blue-chip Dow 30 index rallied by as much as 126 points before paring gains later in the session. It was last up 109.00 points, or 0.4%, at 28,564.09.
The broad S&P 500 Index of large-cap stocks gained 0.1% to 3,225.28. Five of 11 primary sectors reported gains, with industrials and energy stocks rising by an average 0.7%. Technology stocks also outperformed their benchmark, rising 0.4%.
Gains were partially offset by sharp declines in utilities shares. The sector bled 1% on Monday.
Meanwhile, the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.3% to 8,950..26.
Boeing Does the Heavy Lifting
The Dow got its liftoff on Monday thanks to a sudden surge in Boeing (NYSE:BA) shares. The aerospace and defense contractor jumped more than 3% amid news that CEO Dennis Muilenburg will be stepping down immediately.
Muilenburg’s resignation came less than two weeks after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) conceded that its officials knew about the MAX 737 design flaws but did nothing to prevent the aircraft from flying.
Boeing has been in the crosshairs of global aviation authorities after two of its MAX 737 aircraft plunged from the sky over a five-month period, killing 346 people.
Since peaking in early February, Boeing’s share price is down more than $100.
Economic Data Disappoint
The market’s rally came even after a pair of economic reports painted a mixed picture of the U.S. economy.
On Monday, the Commerce Department said durable goods orders plunged 2% in November following a downwardly revised gain of 0.2% the month before. That was the biggest monthly decline since May.
Non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft – a key measure of business investment plans – rose just 0.1% for November. Excluding the defense category, durable goods orders rose 0.8%, official data showed.
Durable goods orders measure demand for manufactured products meant to last three years or more. Their weakness indicates continued softness in the U.S. manufacturing sector.
Separately, the Commerce Department reported an unexpected jump in November new home sales, but a downward revision the previous month put a damper on the headline reading. New home sales rose 1.3% in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 719,000. Analysts were expecting a 734,000-unit pace.