Wall Street sustains record-setting climb on upbeat economic data

 Wall Street sustains record-setting climb on upbeat economic data

By April Joyner

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street stocks inched higher on Tuesday, extending their record-setting rally, as strong housing and manufacturing data bolstered investors' confidence in the U.S. economy.

The benchmark S&P 500 <.SPX> touched a record high for the fourth straight session and was set to build on its 27% gain this year, which has been driven by progress toward a U.S.-China trade agreement, a dovish Federal Reserve and upbeat economic indicators.

U.S. 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 Co boosted automobile production.

"It shows that we're continuing to see benefits from lower interest rates," said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel in New York. "That is resulting in better economic data."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 52.34 points, or 0.19%, to 28,288.23, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 2.36 points, or 0.07%, to 3,193.81 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 9.55 points, or 0.11%, to 8,823.78.

S&P 500 financial stocks <.SPSY>, which tend to be economically sensitive, rose 0.6% on the upbeat data. Financials led in percentage gains among S&P 500 sectors.

Shares of Home Depot Inc rose 1.3% 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%, 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%.

Shares of Boeing Co , which said it would suspend production of its 737 MAX jet, reversed course to eke out a 0.1% 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.

(Reporting by April Joyner; Additional Reporting by Uday Sampath and Abhishek Manikandan in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel, Shounak Dasgupta and Richard Chang)

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Updated Date: Dec 18, 2019 02:07:00 IST