U.S. stocks marched toward new records midday Tuesday, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq surpassing their all-time closing highs, as investors parse a wave of corporate earnings, including those from blue-chip consumer-focused companies, Coca-Cola Co. and Procter & Gamble Co.

How are major indexes faring?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average

DJIA, +0.61%

rose 168 points, or 0.6%, to 26,679, while the S&P 500 index

SPX, +0.88%

 added 26 points, or 0.9%, to trade at 2,934, above its previous closing high of 2931. The Nasdaq Composite Index 

COMP, +1.25%

added 95 points to 8,110, a rise of 0.7%, virtually identical to its previous record close.

Both the S&P and Nasdaq have yet to breach their all-time intraday highs.

What’s driving the market?

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite indexes were on pace to close at record highs Tuesday as Wall Street remained laser-focused on the latest round of corporate earnings, including several Dow components: Coke

KO, +1.92%

P&G

PG, -2.85%

United Technologies Corp.

UTX, +2.16%

and Verizon Communications Inc.

VZ, -2.06%

 

Shares of United Technologies were leading the Dow higher Tuesday, up 2.2%, after it reported earnings and revenue that beat analyst expectations, while raising expectations for its full-year performance. Shares of Coke were also boosting the blue-chip index, rising 1.7%, on better-than-expected earnings.

P&G was Tuesday morning’s main disappointment, after the maker of Oral-B, Pampers and Tide products issued a soft outlook for the full-year 2019, sending the stock down 2.4%

Meanwhile, social media giant Twitter’s shares were leading the S&P 500’s charge into record territory, up 16.6% after the social media company reported user growth well beyond analyst forecasts. Toy maker Hasbro Inc.

HAS, +15.62%

wasn’t far behind, with its shares up 15.4%, after the firm reported a surprise profit and growth in revenue.

On Monday, investors focused on moves in the energy sector after the U.S. said it was ending waivers on imports of Iranian oil, granted to a number of countries, including China, India and Turkey, which were slated to terminate May 2. Because the tightened restrictions would remove nearly 1 million barrels of Iranian supplies from the market a day, it delivered a jolt to oil-pegged assets and produced sharp gains in the energy sector, as reflected in exchange-traded funds Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF

XLE, -0.03%

 and United States Oil Fund LP

USO, +0.66%

Which other stocks are in focus?

Shares of Whirlpool Corp.

WHR, +1.05%

 climbed Tuesday, after the appliance maker late Monday reported results that were better than analysts’s estimates. Shares rose 0.6%.

Verizon shares fell 2.1%, even after the communications giant beat first-quarter profit expectations, while revenue was in line, and raised its outlook.

Shares of health-care company Centene Corp.

CNC, +2.33%

rose 2.4% Tuesday, after reporting quarterly results that were better than expected.

Lockheed Martin Corp.’s stock

LMT, +6.47%

surged 6.8%, after the aerospace and defense giant greatly surpassed estimates for the first quarter and raised its full-year guidance.

Shares of Harley-Davidson Inc.

HOG, +0.10%

 rose 0.6% Tuesday, after the motorcycle manufacturer missed earnings estimates slightly, while surpassing revenue expectations.

After Tuesday’s close, tech company Texas Instruments Inc.

TXN, +1.17%

eBay Inc.

EBAY, +1.23%

 and social-media company Snap Inc.

SNAP, +4.16%

are set to release results.

What’s on the economic calendar?

New home sales in March rose 4.5% to a sixteen-month high, the Commerce Department said Tuesday, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 692,000.

What are analysts saying?

Potential new closing highs “are being driven by some really solid earnings reports today,” Lindsey Bell, investment strategist with CFRA research told MarketWatch.

For markets to keep hitting new highs, “You’re going to need to see tech really participate, following on Twitter this morning,” she added. Bell pointed to Microsoft Corp.

MSFT, +0.92%

and, Facebook Inc.

FB, +1.01%

as two companies that report Wednesday, and whose results could go a long way in determining the stamina of the current rally.

“Overall, the [corporate] results indicate an improving world economy, particularly for big-ticket items on both the consumer and industrial spending sides, supporting investor interest in cyclical sectors like Consumer Discretionary, Industrials, Communications, and Technology,” wrote Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management in a Tuesday research note.

How are other markets trade?

The Shanghai Composite

SHCOMP, -0.51%

 fell 0.5% and the CSI 300 Index

000300, -0.16%

 declined 0.2%, while major European stock markets were mostly higher after coming off the Easter Monday holiday. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index

SXXP, +0.23%

was up 0.5%, while the FTSE 100 Index

UKX, +0.85%

 rose 0.9%.

Gold prices

GCM9, -0.27%

 were trading lower while the ICE Dollar Index

DXY, +0.36%

rose against its peers, to a nearly two-year peak at 97.71. The dollar gauge was currently at 97.64.

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2019-04-23