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Market Wrap: Energy Sector Overcomes Disappointing Economic Data

Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 ended the day higher – with the Dow setting another record, closing up 30 points and the S&P up 3 – all this despite worrisome economic data coming in the form of a rise in wholesale prices and a decline in housing permits. The NASDAQ couldn’t keep up, falling 6 points on continued weakness in the technology sector.

CNBC’s Mary Thompson had her “Eye on the Floor” and pointed to shares of ExxonMobil , Chevron and Valero Energy as the big winners today. Valero traded at a 52-week high along with Time Warner and Morgan Stanley .

Among today’s losers: Circuit City fell after reporting its first quarterly loss in a year-and-a-half - and Delta Air Lines took a hit after the airline rejected a hostile takeover bid from US Airways Group .

Meanwhile - after the bell - Harrah’s Entertainment confirmed that it would be bought out for $90 per share by Apollo Management and Texas Pacific Group.

Earlier today, the producer-price index for November came in at its highest rate in over 30 years. Core inflation was up 1.3%, which could have spelled trouble for the U.S. markets had it not been for that strong showing from energy stocks – lifted by higher oil prices (crude oil closed up 94 cents to 63.15 - a reversal from yesterday’s movement).