The stock market cooled slightly early Friday after a two-day rally sparked by Donald Trump's unexpected presidential victory and stoked by the prospect that a Trump administration will make good on promises to spend heavily on infrastructure projects and ease many federal regulations.
Financial stocks have been among the biggest winners this week, a sign that investors are betting on looser bank regulation — including changes to 2010's Dodd-Frank Act — and that interest rates will rise. Finance stocks that are part of the Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed nearly 8% Wednesday and Thursday, though they traded slightly lower in early trading Friday.
Shares of San Francisco's Wells Fargo & Co., for instance, climbed 13% in that time, topping $50 a share for the first time since September, when the bank announced a $185-million settlement with regulators over the creation of unauthorized bank accounts.
Many healthcare companies, particularly drug makers, have also seen shares climb on projections that Trump will be friendlier to the industry than Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton would have been and that Trump is less likely to call for controls on drug prices. Shares of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. have jumped 11% since Tuesday, while drugmaker Gilead Sciences Inc.'s shares have climbed 5%.
Energy stocks, too, have fared well, topping the S&P 500 overall on promises of looser regulation. Healthcare and energy stocks slipped Friday morning but are still ahead for the week.
Other winners this week have been manufacturing, chemical, defense and construction-related firms, which have seen shares climb based on Trump's pledge to spend on infrastructure and military bases.
Chemical and materials stocks that are part of the S&P 500 rose 3% on Wednesday and Thursday, while industrial and manufacturing firms climbed more than 4%. Aerospace and defense firm Northrop Grumman gained nearly 7%. Vulcan Materials, a provider of concrete, gravel and other products used by the construction trades, jumped nearly 14%.
Industrial and materials stocks slipped in early trading Friday, but not enough to erase gains from Wednesday and Thursday.
Although markets are up overall following the election, investors are pulling out of some industries. Utility companies and firms that make or sell basic consumer goods — including Coca-Cola Co. and General Mills Inc. — saw share shares fall in the two days after the election.
Shares of natural gas company Sempra Energy tumbled nearly 7%. Coca-Cola and General Mills each fell more than 4%.
Companies in those industries tend to pay steady dividends and often attract the same type of investors who favor bonds. But with interest rates expected to rise, investors have been pulling out of both.
Utilities were up slightly in early trading Friday, while consumer staples continued to lose ground.
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