Business & Tech

Nasdaq sets another record high

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The Nasdaq notched its fourth record-high close in a row Tuesday with a modest gain as other major US stock indexes barely budged. The S&P 500 was unchanged and the Dow had a slight loss. Consumer-focused companies, banks, and health care providers were among the biggest gainers. Real estate companies lagged the most. Energy stocks also fell, along with oil prices. US benchmark crude lost 2.2 percent to $50.82 a barrel. Natural gas futures rose 5.6 percent, but several gas companies closed lower. Williams Cos. was down the most among S&P 500 stocks, 10.7 percent. Illumina jumped 16.6 percent on strong quarterly sales. It also launched a new genetic sequencing system, NovaSeq. The stock led the S&P 500. Alaska Air rose 5.2 percent on its monthly results. Zimmer Biomet added 6.2 percent; the medical device maker projected better-than-expected sales. Ascena Retail slumped 10 percent as it slashed its forecast, citing holiday sales. Pacific Continental surged 25.7 percent on news the holding company for Pacific Continental Bank will be bought by Columbia Banking System for $644 million. Columbia slipped 2.9 percent.

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