NEW YORK — The major U.S. stock indexes closed at record highs on Friday, with the S&P 500 ending above 3,000 for the first time. The market was driven higher by technology, consumer discretionary and industrial company stocks, which more than offset the drop in drugmakers.
Investors continued to remain focused on the Federal Reserve. The Fed is expected to cut its benchmark interest rate later this month for the first time in more than a decade to help counter slowing economic growth caused by various trade disputes. Investors have bet heavily that the Fed is moving that direction, moving stock and bond yields higher in the last two weeks.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 243.95 points, or 0.9%, to 27,332.03. The S&P 500 rose 13.86 points, or 0.5%, to 3,013.77 and the Nasdaq composite index rose 48.10 points, or 0.6%, to 8,244.14. All three indexes closed at record highs.
Health care stocks took some of the heaviest losses. Eli Lilly, Merck and Pfizer all fell more than 1%. Pharmaceutical companies also fell on Thursday after the White House withdrew a plan to overhaul the rebates that drugmakers pay insurers and distributors. Investors now expect drugmakers may come under renewed pressure to lower prices.
Separately, another drugmaker, Johnson & Johnson, fell 4.1%. Bloomberg News reported that the company, a Dow component, is under a criminal investigation for possibly lying to the public about the cancer risks found in its ever-popular baby powder.