By Yashaswini Swamynathan
The three main U.S. stock indexes hit records highs for the second straight day on Tuesday, with the Dow topping 19,000 points and the S&P 500 moving past 2,200 points for the first time ever as the Donald Trump-fueled rally continued.The small cap Russell 2000 index hit an intraday high for the fourth day in a row. The index, along with the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P, closed at record highs on Monday, the first such instance since December 1999.Trump's pro-growth policies, including promises of tax cuts, higher spending on infrastructure and simpler regulations in the banking and healthcare industries, have led a rally, especially in those sectors, since the election on Nov. 8.The consumer discretionary sector's .SPLRCD 0.74 percent increase on Tuesday led the gainers among the 11 major S&P sectors, boosted by strong quarterly reports from Dollar Tree and Signet Jewelers.The healthcare sector .SPXHC was the only laggard, dropping 0.74 percent, weighed down by Medtronic.The Dow took 121 days, or about five months, to move to 18,000 points from 17,000 points, but has since crawled along. The index took another 483 days, or roughly two years to breach 19,000 points.
"In itself the numbers don't mean much, but from a psychological or milestone standpoint it's a good achievement for the market," Adam Sarhan, chief executive of 50 Park Investments, said of the record-high levels of the indexes."Strength begets strength. The more we can continue to rally, the more people who are on the sidelines want to jump in especially because there's so much cash on the sidelines. The market going up is the single best advertisement for the market."At 10:07 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 45.47 points, or 0.24 percent, at 19,002.16, easing after hitting an all-time high of 19,014.73.
The S&P 500 .SPX was up 4.2 points, or 0.19 percent, at 2,202.38. It hit a high of 2,203.56.The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 19.69 points, or 0.37 percent, at 5,388.55, after touching a high of 5,392.26.Dollar Tree (DLTR.O) surged 9.5 percent to $89.91 after the biggest U.S. dollar-store chain reported a better-then-expected quarterly profit.
Signet (SIG.N) was up 7.5 percent at $95.49 after the jeweler reported a much better-than-expected quarterly profit and raised its profit forecast.Medtronic (MDT.N) tumbled 7.5 percent to $74.5 after the medical device maker reported quarterly revenue that missed expectations and cut its full-year adjusted earnings forecast.Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,019 to 740. On the Nasdaq, 1,554 issues rose and 930 fell.The S&P 500 index showed 44 new 52-week highs and four new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 160 new highs and eight new lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan and Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Savio D'Souza)
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