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US: Dow at record again as banks lead rally

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[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks rose on Tuesday as the Dow set yet another record close, and financial shares continued to benefit from a post-election rally.

Banking shares, one of the hottest sectors since the November 8 election, rallied on positive commentary about trading conditions from JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America at a banking conference. Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup all rose more than one per cent.

"Financial stocks continue to be a major standout," said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities. "This is the main driver of the market strength." The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2 per cent to 19,251.78, its second straight record.

The S&P 500 gained 0.3 per cent to 2,212.23, narrowly missing a record, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.5 per cent to 5,333.00.

Market voices on:

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries dropped 5.4 per cent as it announced Sigurdur Olafsson was stepping down as head of the generics group, a move that surprised analysts.

Chipotle Mexican Grill slumped 7.6 per cent as co-chief executive Steve Ells expressed disappointment about the company's sales recovery after E. coli problems over the last year. Mr Ells told an investor conference he was dissatisfied with the recovery, Bloomberg reported.

Alaska Air Group gained 2.0 per cent after the Justice Department approved its US$4 billion acquisition of Virgin America, but required it to scale back a route-sharing alliance with American Airlines. Virgin America advanced 0.6 per cent.

Boeing finished up 0.1 per cent, shrugging off early weakness after President-elect Donald Trump called for the cancelation of the aerospace giant's multi-billion dollar contract to build the next Air Force One due to ballooning costs.

Boeing said it would work with the US Air Force to "deliver the best planes for the president at the best value for the American taxpayer."