Dow breaks 20,000, Jan. 23-27

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above the 20,000 threshold three times during the trading week, and finished at 20,093.78, marking a 1.34% gain, while the S&P 500 Index rose 1.03% to 2,294.69. The Dow — considered a proxy for the wider health of the U.S. economy — is up 8.1% since Donald J. Trump was elected U.S. president, while the S&P 500 is up 6.10%. Spot gold fell US$18.70 per oz., or 1.6% to US$1,191.30, while the Philadelphia Gold & Silver Index climbed 1.02% to 89.58. West Texas Intermediate crude closed at US$53 per barrel.

Freeport-McMoRan was the most heavily traded and rose US86¢ to US$16.37. The company reported US$6.6 billion in asset sales in 2016 (including US$5.2 billion in the fourth quarter) along with US$1.5 billion in at-the-market sales of its common stock, and as a result slashed its consolidated debt more than US$8 billion. For the year, Freeport posted a US$4.2-billion (US$3.16-per-share) net loss attributable to common stock, although it recorded net income attributable to common stock of US$292 million, or US21¢ per share in the fourth quarter. In 2017, Freeport forecasts consolidated sales would reach 4.1 billion lb. copper, 2.2 million oz. gold and 92 million lb. molybdenum.

Rio Tinto’s decision to sell most of its coal assets in Australia to Yancoal for US$2.4 billion lifted its shares US$2.42 to US$45.35. The assets are held in Rio Tinto’s Australian subsidiary, Coal & Allied Industries, and consist of its thermal coal business in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales.

Shares of Barrick Gold were up US68¢ to US$17.79 apiece. The company reported preliminary full-year gold production in 2016 of 5.52 million oz. — at the high end of its 5.25 to 5.55 million oz. guidance. Barrick expects cost of sales applicable to gold at the low end of its $800 to $850 per oz. guidance for 2016. Full-year, all-in sustaining costs could be at or slightly below the low end of its full-year guidance range of $740 to $775 per oz. gold. Preliminary annual copper production was 415 million lb., in line with 380 to 430 million lb. guidance for 2016. Full-year cost of sales applicable to copper could be US$1.35 to $1.55 per lb. for 2016, with all-in sustaining costs of $2 to $2.20 per pound.


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