The Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index closed at record highs Monday as the market delivered its fourth gain in four trading days.Pharmaceutical and technology stocks were among the big risers, while shares in energy companies fell sharply as the decline in oil prices deepened. Discouraging data on U.S. home sales failed to derail the “Santa” rally, what traders often call a pre-Christmas advance.Trading volume was lighter than usual as many investors looked ahead to the Christmas holiday. “We’re getting a good Santa Claus rally,” said Sam Stovall, U.S. equity strategist at S&P Capital IQ. After a strong finish last week, investors remained mostly in a buying mood Monday. The major stock indexes drifted between small gains and losses in the morning, as traders digested the latest housing data. The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of previously occupied homes fell 6.1 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.93 million. That’s the slowest pace in six months. By late morning, the major indexes were rising and holding on to gains that were modest, but good enough for a new set of record highs.
Leadership at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game got an earful Tuesday night in Palmer.Listen nowThat’s where the Matanuska-Susitna Borough’s fish commission told Fish and Game Commissioner Sam Cotten and other top officials about what the borough described as a “chronic failure” to let fish pass through Cook Inlet to the Mat-Su’s rivers and creeks.For years, Mat-Su anglers and sport fishing guides have been at odds with commercial fishing interests farther south in Cook Inlet. They say the commercial drift-netters are catching salmon headed to the Mat-Su to spawn and that their fishing opportunities have been more limited. Fish and Game, they say, has tended to use its discretion in interpreting regulations to benefit the commercial fishers.Eric Spade was one of those who testified.“Some of you guys have to lose your job, because it’s been like some really bad management,” Spade said. “Last year was horrible.”Mat-Su officials admit that a fairly strong run of silver salmon arrived in area waterways in the past week. But they say earlier in the fishing season, the popular Little Susitna River was closed to bait fishing for other species and counts remained low for silvers there.