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Shares of Las Vegas companies gain in market rally that takes Dow above 14,000

Shares of Las Vegas-related stocks and gambling companies generally performed well in a broad market rally Friday that saw the Dow Jones industrial average shatter the 14,000 mark.

The widely watched stock benchmark closed at 14,009.79. It’s the Dow’s highest close since Oct. 12, 2007.

Among companies with local ties, Penn National Gaming had one of the strongest gains on Friday. Shares of the company, which operates the M Resort in Henderson, gained $1.64, or 3.4 percent, to close at $50.30.

Among major Las Vegas-based casino companies, results show:

■ Caesars Entertainment lost 24 cents, or nearly 3 percent, to close at $7.81.

■ Las Vegas Sands gained 62 cents, or 1.1 percent, to close at $55.87.

■ MGM Resorts International gained 19 cents, or 1.5 percent, to close at $12.96.

■ And Wynn Resorts gained $1.15, or 0.9 percent, to close at $126.37.

Slot-machine manufacturer International Game Technology, at the center of a bruising proxy fight that will be aired March 5, gained 18 cents, or 1.2 percent, to close at $15.55.

Regional casino operator Pinnacle Gaming gained 30 cents, or 1.9 percent, to finish at $15.85.

Also, Las Vegas-based Allegiant Travel Co. gained 39 cents, or 0.5 percent, to close at $74.86.

Utilities also fared well in Friday’s rally. NV Energy tacked on 1 cent, or 0.05 percent, to finish at $18.94. Southwest Gas Corp. gained 72 cents, or 1.6 percent, to close at $45.26.

Global Cash Access was unchanged at $7.55. Full House Resorts was also unchanged at $3.22.

Shares of Molycorp, which operates a rare-earths mine near the Nevada-California border, gained 5 cents, or 0.68 percent, to close at $7.43.

Some market watchers consider the 14,000 milestone an important booster to hearts and minds, making investors feel optimistic and thus more willing to bet on the market.

“The Dow touching 14,000, it matters psychologically,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York. “It attracts smaller investors.”

Equities rallied as Labor Department figures showed payrolls rose 157,000 following a revised 196,000 advance in the prior month and a 247,000 surge in November. The jobless rate increased to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent. Other reports showed manufacturing in the U.S. expanded more than forecast in January, reaching a nine-month high, while confidence among American households unexpectedly rose.

U.S. equity benchmark indexes slipped from five-year highs earlier in the week as a report showed U.S. gross domestic product unexpectedly shrank in the fourth quarter.

Including dividends, the S&P 500 rallied 5.2 percent last month for its best January return since 1997, leading global stocks higher and beating bonds, commodities and currencies.

The S&P 500 is 3.4 percent below its record of 1,565.15 set in October 2007, while the Dow is about 1 percent from its all-time high of 14,164.53.

The Associated Press and Bloomberg News contributed to this report. Contact Assistant Business Editor Dan Behringer at dbehringer@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0296. Follow @DanBehringer221 on Twitter.

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