By Caroline Valetkevitch
| NEW YORK
NEW YORK U.S. stocks edged higher in afternoon trading on Tuesday, pushing the Dow above the 19,000 level and the S&P 500 above 2,200, though a fall in healthcare stocks weighed on the market.All three indexes along with the small-cap Russell 2000 index again hit intraday record highs, a day after all four indexes set record closing highs, extending their rally since the Nov. 8 U.S. election. President-elect Donald Trump's promises of tax cuts, higher spending on infrastructure and less regulation have been seen by investors as beneficial to certain industries, including banking and healthcare.But some market participants question if the rally is sustainable, with the S&P 500 trading near 17.3 times forward 12-month earnings, above the 10-year median of 14.7 times, according to StarMine data."We've quieted down to a pre-holiday mode," said Michael O'Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut, noting that volume was getting lighter ahead of the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.
Also, "bonds have seen a bounce today, so the equity bid came out of the market for a little bit."U.S. bond prices have fallen sharply - driving up yields -since the U.S. election, while stocks have jumped.The healthcare index .SPXHC, which saw a sharp run higher following the election, was off 1.5 percent, leading the decliners and set for their biggest one-day drop in nearly a month.
Consumer discretionaries .SPLRCD were up 1.2 percent, helped by Dollar Tree (DLTR.O), up 8.6 percent. The dollar-store chain reported a better-then-expected quarterly profit. Telecommunications .SPLRCL were up 2.2 percent.The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was up 55.98 points, or 0.3 percent, to 19,012.67, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 3.12 points, or 0.14 percent, to 2,201.3 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 11.27 points, or 0.21 percent, to 5,380.13.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.
Medtronic (MDT.N) tumbled 10.2 percent to $72.33 after the medical device maker reported quarterly revenue that missed expectations and cut its full-year adjusted earnings forecast.Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.09-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.33-to-1 ratio favored advancers.The S&P 500 posted 51 new 52-week highs and 6 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 280 new highs and 18 new lows. (Additional reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan and Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Zieminski)
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