No Stopping US Stocks as Indexes Hit Intraday Record Highs

The benchmark US indexes hit intraday records once more on Friday and were poised to set new all-time peaks as the post-election rally surged on, oil prices gained and Coca-Cola (KO) lifted the consumer staples sector and drove the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Investors in the beverage giant seemed to applaud news that Chief Operating Officer James Quincey will take over as the company’s chief executive on May 1, replacing Muhtar Kent, who has been CEO for the past eight years. Earlier in 2016, Quincey implemented a new international operating structure and leadership team to “make the company more efficient and effective at local levels,” Coca-Cola said.

The shares rose 2.6% to the highest intraday level in a month. That helped a 1.1% gain in the Standard & Poor’s 500 consumer staples group and led two thirds of the Dow blue chips to gains. Pfizer (PFE) increased 2.2% and Merck (MRK) gained 1.8% as the S&P’s health care sector advanced 1%.

The indexes were poised for strong weekly advances, with Dow up 2.7% so far, the S&P 500 increased 2.8% and the Nasdaq Composite has rallied 3.3%. That’s extending rallies that kicked into gear a month ago, when Republican Donald Trump won the US presidential election and investors began hoping for lower taxes, infrastructure spending and pro-growth government policies.