Wall Street stocks have inched higher, extending their record-setting rally, with strong housing and manufacturing data bolstering investors’ confidence in the US economy.
The benchmark S&P 500 touched a record high for the fourth straight session on Tuesday and was set to build on its 27 per cent gain this year, which has been driven by progress toward a US-China trade agreement, a dovish Federal Reserve and upbeat economic indicators.
US housing starts increased more than expected in November and building permits rose that month to the highest level since May 2007.
Data from the Federal Reserve also showed manufacturing output picked up more than expected in November, as the end of a strike at General Motors boosted car production.
“It shows we’re continuing to see benefits from lower interest rates,” said Tim Ghriskey at Inverness Counsel in New York. “That is resulting in better economic data.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 52.34 points, or 0.19 per cent, to 28,288.23, the S&P 500 gained 2.36 points, or 0.07 per cent, to 3,193.81 and the Nasdaq Composite added 9.55 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 8,823.78.
S&P 500 financial stocks, which tend to be economically sensitive, rose 0.6 per cent on the upbeat data. Financials led in percentage gains among S&P 500 sectors.
Shares of Home Depot Inc rose 1.3 per cent on the housing data and were among the biggest boosts to the Dow. Shares of rival Lowe’s Cos Inc dipped slightly, however, after having risen earlier in the session.
Netflix Inc shares rose 3.9 per cent, among the biggest percentage gains on the S&P 500, after the streaming service provider said its overseas growth, particularly its Asia-Pacific business, was accelerating.
Apple Inc shares touched a fresh record high and last posted marginal gains, up 0.3 per cent.
Shares of Boeing Co, which said it would suspend production of its 737 MAX jet, reversed course to eke out a 0.1 per cent gain.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.63-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.26-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 45 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 151 new highs and 50 new lows.
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