MARKET SNAPSHOT: S&P 500, Nasdaq Trade In Record Territory After Modest Gains

By Sara Sjolin and Anora Mahmudova, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Marriott International Inc rallies after quarterly results

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The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite traded in record territory early Tuesday as investors sifted through mostly upbeat earnings reports and awaited several Federal Reserve speakers.

The S&P 500 index gained 4 points, or 0.2%, to 2,403 with five of the 11 main indexes trading higher. The benchmark index set a fresh intraday record shortly after the open.

The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 27 points, or 0.5%, to 6,130, also setting a fresh intraday record of 6,130.82.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 21 point, or 0.1%, to 21,033, only about 90 points below its record close set in early March.

Analysts said the market needed a catalyst to break out of what has been described as narrow rangebound trading, which has pushed equity levels to lofty valuations.

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"The bull market is still intact and in the absence of negative news we may see prices drift higher," said Randy Frederick, managing director of Trading & Derivatives at Schwab Center for Financial Research.

Frederick warned that stretched valuations are an impediment for further big gains, however.

"If we don't see promised tax cuts by the end of the year, investors may lose patience, even though fundamentals remain solid," Frederick said.

The subtle moves come after a day of listless trading activity on Monday, after the widely expected victory for independent centrist Emmanuel Macron in the French election failed to sustain strong gains.

Read:Here's why the Macron-inspired rally for global markets is fizzling (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-why-the-macron-inspired-rally-for-global-markets-is-fizzling-2017-05-08-910308)

"With [the French election] hurdle cleared, investors have already turned their attention to a roster of risk events over the next six weeks, including U.K. and French [parliamentary] elections, major central bank updates and an OPEC meeting," analysts at Accendo Markets said in a note.

Macron easily defeated far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen, seen as a removal of potential geopolitical turmoil in Europe. That helped send the CBOE Volatility Index to its lowest level since 1993 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/wall-streets-fear-gauge-just-hit-its-lowest-level-in-24-years-2017-05-08), "suggesting low anxiety among investors who are merely awaiting the next catalyst to extend the long-term uptrend," according to the Accendo analysts.

Economic news: A reading of job openings in March were cut from February, while a report on wholesale inventories showed a gain of 0.2% in March.

In other economic data, small-business sentiment fell (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/small-business-mood-falls-as-congress-initially-disappointed-on-health-care-tax-reform-lagged-2017-05-09) for the third straight month in April to a reading of 104.5.

The Federal Reserve meeting in June is one of the events traders are waiting for to potentially steer the market higher. According to the CME FedWatch tool, markets are pricing in an 88% chance of a rate increase at the U.S. central bank's June 14 meeting.

On Tuesday, several Fed speakers will be closely watched for any hints about the coming policy decision.

Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari will talk at the Minnesota High Tech Spring Conference in Minneapolis at 9 a.m. Eastern Time, followed by a speech by Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren at the NYU Stern School of Business at 1 p.m. Eastern.

Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan will appear in a moderated discussion at the Dallas Regional Chamber in Dallas at 4:15 p.m. Eastern.

See:

Earnings season:Office Depot Inc.(ODP) stock soared 6.9% after the retailer beat earnings expectations.

Allergan PLC (AGN) shares rose 1% as the company topped earnings estimates on strength of Botox, eye care products.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.(VRX.T) shares soared 13% after the drugmaker beat first-quarter profit expectations, although revenue came up shy.

Discovery Communications Inc.(DISCK) shares fell 4.9% following first-quarter earnings that came in below expectations as subscribers cut the cord.

After the closing bell, Walt Disney Co.(DIS), Priceline Group Inc.(PCLN) and Electronic Arts Inc.(EA) are on the earnings docket. News Corp.(NWS.AU), the owner of MarketWatch, will also report after hours.

Stock movers: Shares of Marriott International Inc. (MAR) gained 5.1% after the hotel operator's quarterly earnings released late Monday topped Wall Street estimates (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/marriott-shares-rise-after-earnings-top-street-view-2017-05-08).

Other markets: Stocks in Asia closed mixed, with Japan's Nikkei 225 index down 0.3%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rallied 1.3%.

Stock markets in Europe marched higher, rebounding from Monday's losses (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-pull-back-from-21-month-high-after-macron-wins-french-election-2017-05-08).

Read:Why 'this is the end of the European rally' in stocks, says Saxo Bank (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-is-the-end-of-the-european-rally-as-macrons-path-italy-pose-challenges-saxo-2017-05-08)

The dollar traded higher against most major currencies, adding pressure on gold prices .

Oil prices advanced in anticipation of a deal (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-rise-modestly-but-analysts-say-market-is-fragile-2017-05-09) to extend output cuts when OPEC meets later in May. The yield on a 10-year Treasury note was up 1 basis point to 2.40%.

Read:How oil is setting up for a supply squeeze--and that's good news for bulls (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-bullish-case-for-oil-in-2017-and-beyond-2017-05-08)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 09, 2017 10:11 ET (14:11 GMT)