By Yashaswini Swamynathan
U.S. stock indexes hit record intraday highs for the second straight day on Tuesday, with the Dow topping 19,000 and the S&P 500 moving past 2,200 as the post-election rally continued.The small-cap Russell 2000 index hit an intraday high for the fourth day in a row, before all four indexes eased off their highs in late morning trading.President-elect Donald Trump's pro-growth policies, including promises of tax cuts, higher infrastructure spending and simpler regulations in the banking and healthcare industries, had sparked a rally since his election win."I call the next phase here the blowout phase because I do not think market valuations are bargain-based. I could see some profit taking in the next couple of days," said Sander Read, chief executive of Lyons Wealth Management in Winterpark, Florida.The S&P 500 is trading near 17.3 times forward 12-month earnings, above the 10-year median of 14.7 times, according to StarMine data."If we see the indexes close above the 19,000 and 2,200 levels, that would say we are going to move higher. I don't think we're going to see that in the next day or two. I think there might be selling around that level," said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer at Commonwealth Financial.
At 11:15 a.m. ET (1615 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 27.6 points, or 0.15 percent, at 18,984.29, easing from an all-time high of 19,014.73.The S&P 500 was up 1.33 points, or 0.06 percent, at 2,199.51. It hit a high of 2,203.56.The Nasdaq Composite was up 8.93 points, or 0.17 percent, at 5,377.79, after touching a high of 5,392.26.
The Dow took 121 trading days to move to 18,000 points from 17,000, but has since crawled along, taking another 483 days to breach 19,000.The consumer discretionary sector's 0.85 percent increase on Tuesday and gave the broader S&P 500 index its biggest boost.Among the sector's top drivers was Dollar Tree, which surged 9.9 percent to $90.07 after the dollar-store chain reported a better-then-expected quarterly profit.
The healthcare sector was the only laggard among the 11 major sectors. It fell 1.45 percent, weighed down by Medtronic and Johnson and Johnson.Medtronic 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 1,966 to 852. On the Nasdaq, 1,463 issues rose and 1,145 fell.The S&P 500 index showed 47 new 52-week highs and five new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 194 new highs and 11 new lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan and Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Savio D'Souza)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.