December 9, 2016 / 8:13 PM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Record-setting rally pushes on as laggards get legs

* S&P 500 marks high for third straight day

* Dow set for fifth week of gains in a row

* Coca-Cola shares rise after CEO change

* Indexes up: Dow 0.45 pct, S&P 0.38 pct, Nasdaq 0.29 pct (Updates to late afternoon)

By Lewis Krauskopf

Dec 9 (Reuters) - Major U.S. stock indexes powered to another day of fresh records on Friday as investors bid up shares in sectors that have lagged in the month-long rally since Donald Trump’s presidential election.

The benchmark S&P 500 registered a record high for the third straight session, while the Dow and Nasdaq also hit new highs. The Dow was set to record a fifth straight week of gains.

Trump’s expected agenda of economic stimulus and reduced taxes and regulations has particularly fueled financial and industrial shares. On Friday, sectors that have underperformed - healthcare, consumer staples, utilities and tech - led the way.

“You have this post-election exuberance that has been infecting every area of the market,” said Peter Costa, president of trading firm Empire Executions. “There was a rotation out of tech stocks early on because the industrials were in favor. Now the tech stocks are getting some legs under them as well.”

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 88.29 points, or 0.45 percent, to 19,703.1, the S&P 500 gained 8.49 points, or 0.38 percent, to 2,254.68 and the Nasdaq Composite added 15.88 points, or 0.29 percent, to 5,433.24.

The S&P consumer staples sector rose 1.2 percent, bolstered by Coca-Cola’s 2.4-percent gain. The company said Muhtar Kent would step down as chief executive and named company veteran James Quincey as his successor.

Healthcare gained 1.1 percent, helped by Bristol-Myers Squibb’s 3.1-percent rise after the drugmaker raised its dividend.

”Today we’re seeing money going into some of the lesser loved sectors since the election, which is telling me the rally is broadening, which is a very positive sign,“ said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas. It means there’s still new money coming in. People are worried about getting left behind at this point.”

Financials, up 18 percent since the election, fell back 0.2 percent.

“I think if you are a short-term trader, you may be looking to take profits and you are starting to see a little bit of that in financials,” said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth.

As the market has climbed, investors have also pointed to a recent run of encouraging economic data supporting equities.

On Friday, a preliminary survey from the University of Michigan showed the U.S. consumer sentiment index at its highest level since January 2015. U.S. wholesale inventories fell in October amid a surge in sales, supporting views that inventory investment would help economic growth in the fourth quarter.

The rally will be tested by next week’s U.S. Federal Reserve meeting. The U.S. central bank is widely expected to raise interest rates, with market participants looking for clues about the pace of future hikes.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.17-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.17-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 51 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 341 new highs and 15 new lows. (Additional reporting by Sinead Carew in New York and Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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