Dow closes at record highs as energy sector surges due to snowstorm – Business Insider

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The Dow closed at record highs on Tuesday as a snowstorm that engulfed half the country led to an unprecedented spike in energy demand and prices. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 traded slightly lower. 

The energy sector soared as much as 3% on Tuesday as oil and natural gas prices continued higher on what seemed to be more snow in the forecast for much of the country this week.

Investor enthusiasm towards a reopened economy is also helping stock prices as daily COVID-19 cases continue to plunge while vaccination rates remain on the rise.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4:00 p.m. ET close on Tuesday:

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Single-digit temperatures and a blanket of snow in Texas over the weekend caused chaos for the state’s energy infrastructure, leading to spikes in both demand and wholesale energy prices. Rolling blackouts were implemented to help prevent the state’s energy grid from melting down, and a handful of other states were on watch for potential rolling blackouts. 

The rolling blackout helped drive a 10% spike in shares of Generac on Tuesday. The company develops, manufactures, and sells backup power systems like generators for homes and businesses.

Bitcoin surged past the key $50,000 level on Tuesday, signalling that investors continue to be in a risk-on environment. Bitcoin mining equipment maker Canaan skyrocketed 41% on the back of the cryptocurrency’s move higher. 

MicroStrategy is continuing its bitcoin buying binge, with plans to raise $600 million from convertible debt to buy more of the cryptocurrency. Shares jumped 5% on the news.

Ark Invest is also benefiting from the rise in bitcoin prices. The investment management firm, founded by Cathie Wood, now owns more than 7 million shares in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust.

US oil and natural gas prices surged on Tuesday as freezing weather hit more than half the country, with Texas residents suffering from rolling blackouts as its electricity grid was overwhelmed by the increased demand for energy. 

Oil prices were mixed. West Texas Intermediate crude jumped as much as 1.21%, to $60.19 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, was down 0.24%, to $63.45 per barrel.

Gold fell 1.5%, to $1,795.50 per ounce.

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