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Dow Reaches Record Closing High But Nasdaq Tumbles - U.S. Commentary


Stocks turned mixed over the course of the trading session on Monday after an initial move to the upside. While the Dow reached a new record closing high, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 ended the day in negative territory.

The Dow rose 58.46 points or 0.2 percent to 24,290.05, but the Nasdaq tumbled 72.22 points or 1.1 percent to 6,775.37 and the S&P 500 edged down 2.78 points or 0.1 percent to 2,639.44.

Traders were reacting to news that Senate Republicans narrowly approved a massive tax reform bill early Saturday morning.

The Senate voted 51 to 49 in favor of the bill known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, with the vote largely coming down along party lines.

Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., was the only Republican to vote against the bill amid concerns about the legislation's impact on the budget deficit.

"With the great vote on Cutting Taxes, this could be a big day for the Stock Market - and YOU!" President Donald Trump said in a post on Twitter.

With the vote to approve the bill, lawmakers from the Senate and House will need to go to conference to work out differences in the bills passed by the two chambers.

The pullback by the Nasdaq partly reflected concerns that technology companies will not benefit as much from the tax cuts.

On the U.S. economic front, the Commerce Department released a report showing a modest decrease in new orders for manufactured goods in the month of October.

The report said factory orders edged down by 0.1 percent in October after surging up by 1.7 percent in September. Economists had expected orders to drop by 0.4 percent.

Transportation stocks showed a substantial move to the upside on the day, driving the Dow Jones Transportation Average up by 1.8 percent. With the gain, the average reached a new record closing high.

Union Pacific (UNP) UPS (UPS) and FedEx (FDX) turned in some of the transportation sector's best performances.

Significant strength was also visible among banking stocks, as reflected by the 2.2 percent gain posted by the Dow Jones Banks Index. The index has climbed to its best closing level in ten years.

Steel, brokerage, and housing stocks also saw notable strength, while weakness among software, semiconductor, and biotechnology stocks contributed to the drop by the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Monday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.5 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose by 0.2 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.5 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index jumped by 1.4 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries gave back ground following the strong upward move seen last Friday. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, rose by 1.7 basis points to 2.379 percent.

Trading on Tuesday may be impacted by reaction to a report on activity in the service sector in the month of November.

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