Stock indexes closed mostly lower Tuesday as losses in health care and technology companies kept gains in energy and other sectors of the market in check. The S&P 500 ended down less than 0.1% after giving up a modest early gain. Energy companies that stand to benefit from record electricity prices due to the frigid cold impacting much of the country surged, the AP reports. Marathon Oil and Apache Corp. were among the biggest gainers. The S&P 500 slipped 2.24 points to 3,932.59. The Dow rose 64.35 points, or 0.2%, to a new all-time high 31,522.75. The Nasdaq Composite index fell 47.97 points, or 0.3%, to 14,047.50. The three indexes closed at record highs on Friday.
The price of natural gas, which is the country’s primary way to produce quick “on-demand” electricity when needed, rose 7.5% to its highest level since November, when hurricane season impacted some natural gas production along the Gulf Coast. Heating oil prices rose 2.4%, much less than natural gas, since it’s primarily used in the Northeast in older boilers to heat homes. The Northeast hasn’t seen unreasonable temperatures for this time of the year. Bond yields, which have been ticking higher on expectations of rising inflation, rose sharply. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.29%, the highest level in a year.
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