Wall Street scales new records, helped by Wal-Mart, energy stocks
The three major Wall Street indexes scaled new records on Tuesday as higher oil prices boosted energy stocks and Wal-Mart rose on the back of a bullish sales forecast.
Wal-Mart jumped more than 4 percent to a two-year high of $84.46 after forecasting U.S. online sales would rise by about 40 percent in the next fiscal year and unveiling a $20 billion share buyback plan.
That helped the consumer staples index jump 0.61 percent, but gains were capped by P&G, which dropped 1.2 percent after activist investor Nelson Peltz unexpectedly failed in his bid to win a board seat.
At 11:01 a.m. ET (1501 GMT) the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 35.14 points, or 0.15 percent, at 22,796.21, and the S&P 500 was up 3.68 points, or 0.14 percent, at 2,548.41.
The Nasdaq Composite was up 5.23 points, or 0.08 percent, at 6,584.96, pulling back from earlier highs due to a drop in Amazon and healthcare stocks.
The gains in all three indexes come after two rather tepid days that slowed a near year-long rally driven by strong corporate earnings, hopes of tax cuts and looser regulations.
But the rally has led to elevated valuations, which investors will look to justify through corporate profits in the upcoming third-quarter earnings season.
Earnings at S&P 500 companies are expected to have increased 4.8 percent last quarter, according to Thomson Reuters data, down from the double-digit growth recorded in the first two quarters of this year.
"There`s a lot of fundamental underpinning to the rally," said Marcelle Daher, senior managing director of asset allocation at Manulife Asset Management.
"Given where (the earnings) estimate for third-quarter is and the historic ability of companies on an aggregate to beat that number, it is a pretty low hurdle for companies to beat."
Eight of the 11 major S&P indexes were higher, led by a 0.79 percent gain in the utilities index.
Energy stocks got a boost from an more than 1 percent rise in oil prices supported by Saudi Arabian export cuts in November and comments from OPEC and trading companies that the market is rebalancing after years of oversupply. [O/R]
Nvidia rose 1.5 percent after the chipmaker unveiled its first computer chips for developing fully autonomous vehicles.
Eli Lilly fell about 1 percent after its drug to treat non-small cell lung cancer failed in a late-stage study.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,902 to 818. On the Nasdaq, 1,681 issues rose and 981 fell.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
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