The Dow Jones Industrial Average stock index hit an intraday and closing record high Tuesday after auto companies recorded their best November sales in more than a decade. Analysts said the big auto sales were helped by early Black Friday promotions.
The Dow, which tracks the share prices of the 30 largest publicly traded U.S. industrial companies, jumped more than 100 points to an intraday record of 17,897.05. The record was set after it was reported that November auto sales hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17.1 million light vehicles, the most since 2003, according to data and analysis company WardsAuto.
"We saw a shift in the traditional pattern of auto companies to promote better deals at the end of Thanksgiving rather than to wait at the end of the year. It appears to have worked," Stuart Hoffman, senior vice president and chief economist for PNC Financial Services Group, said.
More key economic data is on its way and could affect how the closely watched stock index does.
On Wednesday at 8:15 a.m. EST, ADP Research Institute will release its National Employment Report for November, which provides a monthly snapshot of U.S. nonfarm private sector employment ahead of the government’s job report on Friday. At 10 a.m. Wednesday the Institute for Supply Management will also issue its report on nonmanufacturing business. Finally, the Federal Reserve is scheduled to release its Beige Book, a report the central bank publishes eight times per year on the current economic conditions of the U.S. economy.
The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average leaped 102.75 points, or 0.58 percent, to hit a record finish at 17,879.55; the S&P 500 stock index, which tracks the share prices of the nation's 500 largest publicly traded companies, gained 13.11 points, or 0.64 percent, to end at a record high of 2,066.55. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 28.46 points, or 0.60 percent, to finish at 4,755.81.