MARKET SNAPSHOT: S&P 500, Nasdaq Set Fresh Records As Stock Market Aims For 6-day Win Streak

By Sue Chang and Anora Mahmudova, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Best Buy shares jump after earnings

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The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite traded in record territory on Thursday as U.S. stocks advanced for a sixth straight session, thanks in part to big gains in shares of Best Buy after quarterly results.

The S&P 500 index rose 12 points, or 0.5%, to 2,416, after setting an intraday record of 2,417.71. Nine of the 11 main sectors traded higher, led by gains in consumer-discretionary shares. Energy stocks, however, were off almost 2%.

Some technical analysts suggested closing at these levels would prompt a further rally in broader markets.

"Assuming the breakout is confirmed, short-term upside is likely greatest for small- and midcap stocks given their relatively oversold position," said Katie Stockton, chief technical strategist at BTIG.

If the S&P 500 closes higher Thursday, it would mark the 11th time the large-cap index has risen for six sessions in a row in the past five years. In the 10 previous incidences, stocks were higher two weeks later 80% of the time, with an average gain of 57 basis points, according to Frank Cappelleri, executive director at Instinet LLC.

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The Nasdaq Composite Index also hit an intraday record at 6,217.34, and was most recently up 52 points, or 0.9%, to 6,215.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 81 points, or 0.4%, to 21,092, within shouting distance of its record close of 21,115.55 on March 1.

"Stocks are up, certainly helped by yesterday's release of the FOMC meeting minutes which suggested there will be a very gradual and thoughtful balance sheet normalization process," said Kristina Hooper, global market strategist at Invesco.

The minutes indicated that Federal Open Market Committee members were in agreement on a slow and deliberate approach to unwinding the massive balance sheet built up as part of the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing strategy.

The gains were also underpinned by robust earnings, according to Steve Chiavarone, portfolio manager at Federated Global Allocation Fund.

"A 15% earnings growth in the first quarter was all achieved without any fiscal stimulus, so investors can afford to be patient even as tax cuts and deregulation reforms are being delayed," Chiavarone said.

Investors appeared to shrug off a drop in oil prices. On Thursday, crude prices sank more than 4% after Saudi Arabia's oil minister Khalid al-Falih ruled out deeper cuts (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-turn-sharply-lower-after-saudi-oil-minister-rules-out-deeper-cuts-2017-05-25) to production in any extension to an OPEC output agreement.

But the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries did agree to a nine-month extension (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/opec-says-it-will-extend-production-cuts-through-march-2018-2017-05-25) to the current deal at Thursday's meeting in Vienna, as expected.

Potentially market-moving headlines may also come out as President Donald Trump continues his overseas trip, meeting European Union leaders (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/brexit-fan-trump-meets-eu-leaders-for-the-first-time-2017-05-25)--new French President Emmanuel Macron (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/macron-tests-the-limits-of-frances-fifth-republic-2017-05-19) in particular--and then attending NATO events.

Individual movers: Shares in Best Buy Co. (BBY) soared 23% after the retailer beat profit expectations (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/best-buys-stock-rockets-after-profit-and-sales-beat-upbeat-guidance-2017-05-25), reported a surprise increase in same-store sales and provided an upbeat outlook.

Medical devices maker Medtronic PLC(MDT), rose 1.2% after earnings and revenue topped views (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/medtronic-profit-and-sales-rise-beat-expectations-2017-05-25).

HP Inc.(HPQ) is off 3.7% after rising earlier following better-than-expected quarterly results (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/hp-stock-jumps-more-than-7-after-earnings-beat-2017-05-24).

See:HP boosted by double bump from PC and printer growth (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/hp-boosted-by-double-whammy-of-pc-and-printer-growth-2017-05-24)

Signet Jewelers Ltd. (SIG) dropped 6.9% after the retailer's earnings fell short of forecasts (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/signet-jewelers-earnings-fall-short-unveils-plan-to-outsource-credit-portfolio-2017-05-25). Signet's debt (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fitch-downgrades-signet-to-bb-from-bb-plus-2017-05-25-9913731)was promptly downgraded by Fitch following earnings. Dollar Tree Inc.(DLTR) climbed 1.9% after its quarterly results (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-tree-earnings-meet-expectations-tweaks-full-year-outlook-2017-05-25).

Hormel Foods Corp.(HRL) sank 6.4% on disappointing quarterly sales. The Spam maker said pressure on its Jennie-O Turkey Store is likely to continue (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/hormel-sales-falls-short-with-pressure-from-jennie-o-turkey-store-expected-to-continue-2017-05-25).

Economic news: Initial jobless claims rose by 1,000 to 234,000 in the seven days stretching from May 14 to May 20, largely in line with expectations.

Advanced U.S. trade deficit in goods widened by 3.8% in April to $67.6 billion.

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St. Louis Fed President James Bullard is slated give a talk in Japan about the American economy after the U.S. market's close--at 11 p.m. Eastern.

Other markets:European stocks (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-grapple-with-lower-liquidity-oil-price-volatility-2017-05-25) were mostly lower, while Asian markets closed with gains (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asia-stocks-higher-south-korea-shares-soar-as-interest-rates-hold-steady-2017-05-25). Gold futures edged higher (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-firms-aims-to-snap-back-to-back-declines-2017-05-25) and a key dollar index (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-dollar-rises-against-commodity-currencies-after-opec-agreement-2017-05-25) traded flat. Meanwhile, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note traded at 2.25%.

--Victor Reklaitis contributed to this article.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 25, 2017 14:51 ET (18:51 GMT)