Wall Street hits record highs as retailers post strong results | Reuters
By Yashaswini Swamynathan U.S.
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
U.S. stocks hit record intraday highs on Tuesday amid gains across sectors as strong earnings from top retailers underscored the strength of the U.S. economy.One in every six stocks on the S&P 500 hit a new 52-week high as a rally sparked by President Donald Trump's promise of tax reforms shows no sign of fading despite concerns around valuations."There is no doubt in anyone's mind that the market has become over extended and is due for a pullback," said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey."That said, when you have this kind of momentum, it is very hard to sit on the sidelines."In the one month of Trump's presidency, the S&P 500 hit record intraday highs 10 times, gained 3.9 percent and surpassed $20 trillion in market capitalization.
Robust earnings have added to the momentum. Overall profit for S&P 500 companies is estimated to have risen 7.5 percent in the latest quarter - the biggest rise since the fourth quarter of 2014.Wal-Mart's shares provided the biggest boost to the Dow, rising 4 percent after the company reported higher-than-expected U.S. sales.Department store bellwether Macy's and home improvement chain Home Depot rose after the companies posted profits that topped estimates.
All 11 major S&P sectors were higher on Tuesday, led by a 1 percent gain in the energy index as oil prices rose.At 11:01 a.m. ET (1601 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 112.22 points, or 0.54 percent, at 20,736.27, the S&P 500 was up 12.59 points, or 0.53 percent, at 2,363.75 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 21.51 points, or 0.37 percent, at 5,860.08.Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen jumped 19 percent to $78.80 after Restaurant Brands agreed to acquire the quick-service restaurant chain for $1.8 billion.
Kraft Heinz shares were the top drag on the S&P, falling 3.3 percent after the company walked away from its $143 billion offer to buy Unilever, a day after the Anglo-Dutch company rejected the proposal. Unilever's U.S.-listed shares were down 8.4 percent.Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,054 to 797. On the Nasdaq, 1,570 issues rose and 1,128 fell.The S&P 500 index showed 83 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 184 new highs and 16 new lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)
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By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.