Stocks gave up more ground on Tuesday, as the Dow and S&P 500 continued their retreat from all-time record highs last week. Yet even after two straight days of declines, the market remains close enough to its record levels that dozens of stocks are still setting new yearly highs. Some of the most noteworthy stocks setting new highs for the year today were Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (NYSE:FCX), Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL), and LG Display (NYSE:LPL).
Freeport-McMoRan only gained 0.2%, but that was enough to send the mining and energy company to its best levels since late 2012. Freeport-McMoRan announced early today that it had agreed on a draft memorandum of understanding with the Indonesian government, with hopes that the agreement will lead to the company being able to resume export of copper concentrate from the south Asian nation. For months, Freeport has had to deal with tight export rules that forced it to stop exporting concentrate from Indonesia. But reports suggest that in exchange for Freeport agreeing to finance construction of new smelter facilities within Indonesia as well as paying higher royalties and selling off a 30% stake in its Indonesian operations, the government will agree to lower export taxes that would allow Freeport to start moving materials out of the country again. Nevertheless, with a presidential election tomorrow and with the likelihood of political change following the results, it could take months before a final deal actually takes effect.
Colgate-Palmolive climbed almost 1% to a new all-time record high for the consumer-products company. Colgate has managed to score strong growth in earnings and sales and expects to see that upward trajectory continue throughout the year. With its control of almost half of the global toothpaste market, Colgate-Palmolive can count on stability in its financial performance, and on a down day for the stock market, that kind of safety holds even greater appeal. Colgate also has plenty of growth opportunities, especially in emerging markets, and that could provide the impetus for further share-price gains in the future.
LG Display rose almost 3%. LG Electronics, which has about a 38% minority stake in LG Display, has gotten a lot of attention for its G Watch smartwatch product, with a major U.S. telecom company announcing that it would sell the new $299 smartwatch and start taking pre-orders today. With LG Display also hoping to help make components for rival smartwatches from Apple and other manufacturers, the big question is whether the new wearable technology will capture early adopters with lasting impact. For now, the future looks bright for wearable mobile devices, and LG Display appears well-positioned to benefit.