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S&P, Nasdaq hit record highs on gains in tech, consumer staples


By Yashaswini Swamynathan

- The S&P 500 and the drifted higher to hit record intraday levels on Tuesday, supported by gains in technology and consumer staple

As the first-quarter earnings season wraps up, investors' attention will turn to developments in Washington that could overshadow Republican legislative priorities such as tax reform, healthcare and simpler regulations.

Investors were wary after reports that President Donald Trump disclosed highly classified information to Russia's foreign minister about a planned Islamic State operation.

The dollar index - which measures the greenback against six other major currencies - hit a six-month low, while prices of safe-haven gold rose.

However, strong earnings including those of Dow component Home Depot, could lead markets higher. The No. 1 U.S. home improvement chain reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit, sending its shares up 2.1 percent $160.68.

While earnings continue to support the indexes, global geopolitical tensions and domestic political developments could unsettle the market's record-setting spree.

"New accusations against Trump on intelligent secrets if expanded will be the catalyst to ignite a perfect storm (in the market)," Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First standard Financial, wrote in a note.

At 9:34 a.m. ET (1334 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 38.13 points, or 0.18 percent, at 21,020.07, the S&P 500 was up 2.25 points, or 0.09 percent, at 2,404.57 and the Composite was up 8.35 points, or 0.14 percent, at 6,158.02.

Eight of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher. Healthcare, real estate and consumer discretionary were slightly lower.

Wall Street closed higher on Monday with gains in technology, energy and financial powering the S&P and the to close at record levels.

Oil prices edged up about 0.7 percent on Tuesday, prompted by the dollar's decline and the expectation for a supply limit deal to extend into next year.

Pfizer was off 1.6 percent at $32.56 after Citigroup downgraded the drug developer's stock to "sell" from "neutral".

Akebia Therapeutics was up nearly 17 percent at $15.05 after the drug developer entered into an agreement with Vifor Pharma Group, which also made a $50 million equity investment in the company.

Dick's Sporting Goods tumbled 12 percent after the company reported lower-than-expected quarterly sales.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,583 to 889. On the Nasdaq, 1,254 issues rose and 850 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed 35 new 52-week highs and seven new lows, while the recorded 57 new highs and 16 new lows.

(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)