Dow narrowly extends its record-setting streak

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Photo finish. A last-minute crawl higher pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average out of the red and ever-so-slightly into the black, as the blue-chip average extended its longest record-setting streak since 1987.

The Dow closed the day up 0.05 per cent at 20,821.8. It was the eleventh time in a row that the index, one of Wall Street’s oldest equities barometers, notched a new closing high. The broader S&P 500 was up 0.2 per cent to 2,367.3 and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.1 per cent to 5,841.

Lackluster performance aside, Friday was notable for the shift investors made into defensive shares. Utilities rallied 1.3 per cent, telecoms were up 0.6 per cent and real estate groups advanced by 0.4 per cent.

Meanwhile, cyclical stocks were on the decline, with energy falling 1 per cent and financials shedding 0.9 per cent.

Investors have grown more wary in recent days that enthusiasm over brightening US economic data — and the business-friendly policies expected from President Donald Trump — may be over-extended.

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