The Dow stopped short of hitting the milestone 20,000 mark. As Fred Katayama reports, financials helped extend the six-week long post-election rally.
Dow closed in on the milestone 20,000 mark. Investors extended the six-week long post-election rally, buying financial and industrial shares and pushing the blue chips and the Nasdaq to record highs on Tuesday. Michael Bapis of Bapis Group at HighTower: SOUNDBITE: MICHAEL BAPIS, PARTNER, BAPIS GROUP AT HIGHTOWER, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "There's a lot of things that are driving it. Job numbers are better, unemployment's low, the economy appears to be getting better. Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen said, 'We're getting better, we're improving. We're going to raise rates.' Sentiment out there that's positive." Praxair is merging with Germany's Linde to create a $65 billion goliath in industrial gases. Shares of both companies fell. The move comes amid consolidation in the industrial gases sector sparked by weaker demand. Fred's shares shot up roughly 75 percent after the discount retailer agreed to buy 865 stores from drug store chain Rite Aid. The deal comes in response to Federal Trade Commission concerns over Walgreens Boots' $9.4 billion takeover deal of Rite Aid. Carnival shares rose. The world's largest cruise operator reported quarterly profit had more than doubled on rising revenue. An increase in onboard spending and ticket prices helped boost results. In Europe, a rally in healthcare and financial stocks led shares higher. Also supporting the rally: a recovery in M&A activity.