MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stock-market Indexes Back In Record Territory After Strong Earnings

By Victor Reklaitis and Anora M. Gaudiano, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Earnings arrive from Lowe's, Dollar Tree, Medtronic, Campbell Soup and more

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U.S. stock-market indexes traded above previous closing records on Tuesday, with the Nasdaq notching an all-time high, as technology shares led the way high.

Investors focused on a raft of corporate earnings and departing Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen's announcement (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/janet-yellen-announces-shes-leaving-the-fed-2017-11-20) that she will leave the central bank altogether, rather than stay on as a Fed governor.

What are the main benchmarks doing?

The S&P 500 rose 13 points, or 0.5%, to 2,595, trading above the record close set earlier this month. All the main index were trading higher, with the technology and materials stocks leading the gains.

The Nasdaq Composite advanced 52 points, or 0.8%, to 6,843, setting an intraday record.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 140 points, or 0.6%, to 23,570, with 27 of its 30 components trading higher. Cisco Systems, Inc(CSCO) and Apple Inc.(AAPL) were leading the gains, up 1%.

The three equity benchmarks are up between 16% and 27% for the year as of Tuesday's levels, helped by factors such as an expanding U.S. economy, growth in corporate profits and bets that the Trump administration will deliver tax cuts and other business-friendly policies.

What are strategists saying?

The Monday announcement from Yellen, who could have stayed on as a Fed governor until 2024, gives President Donald Trump even more room (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/yellens-departure-gives-trump-even-more-space-to-rebuild-the-fed-2017-11-20) to change the way the U.S. central bank operates.

"How these changes will potentially affect Fed policy next year is going to be particularly tricky and should not be underestimated," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, in a note. "The permanent Fed governors get a vote at every meeting. Their views on monetary policy are going to be important and carry a lot of weight."

What could help drive markets?

Chicago Fed national activity index rose to 0.65 in October from 0.36 in September.

An October figure for existing-home sales is due at 10 a.m. Eastern. Economists polled by MarketWatch are expecting 5.45 million homes were sold.

Check out:MarketWatch's Economic Calendar (http://www.marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic)

At 6 p.m. Eastern, Yellen is scheduled to take part in an event with former Bank of England Gov. Mervyn King at New York University's business school.

Which stocks look like key movers?

Specialty retailer (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/signet-jewelers-shares-sink-after-earnings-miss-and-profit-warning-2017-11-21)Signet Jewelers Ltd.(SIG) tumbled 18%, after posting weaker-than-expected earnings before the open.

Home-improvement chain (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/lowes-beats-profit-expectations-coo-to-retire-2017-11-21)Lowe's Cos.(LOW) shares fell 0.5% after disappointing results.

Discount retailer Dollar Tree Inc.(DLTR) gained 1% after its stronger-than-anticipated results (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-tree-earnings-and-sales-beat-expectations-2017-11-21).

Packaged-foods heavyweights Hormel Foods Corp.(HRL) and Campbell Soup Co.(CPB) also released results. Campbell shed 3% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/campbell-soup-shares-fall-after-earnings-miss-and-profit-warning-2017-11-21), while Hormel jumped 6% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/hormel-revenue-drops-as-turkey-troubles-remain-2017-11-21). (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/campbell-soup-shares-fall-after-earnings-miss-and-profit-warning-2017-11-21)

Medical-device maker Medtronic PLC(MDT) posted earnings before the open as well, beating forecasts (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/medtronic-beats-second-quarter-profit-and-sales-estimates-2017-11-21). The stock rallied 5.8%.

Shares in Intuit Inc.(INTU) traded 2.4% lower. The maker of TurboTax and other accounting software posted better-than-expected quarterly results (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/intuit-beats-on-first-quarter-earnings-but-stock-falls-2017-11-20) late Monday, but some analysts said the company's guidance was disappointing.

Agilent Technologies Inc.(A) fell 2% premarket after the maker of scientific equipment late Monday posted better-than-anticipated quarterly earnings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/agilent-falls-from-record-highs-after-forecast-comes-up-short-2017-11-20) but gave a profit forecast that fell short of expectations.

Earnings preview:Analyst surveys point to a strong quarter for Salesforce (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/salesforce-earnings-analyst-surveys-pointing-to-a-strong-quarter-2017-11-20)

Shares in AmerisourceBergen Corp.(ABC) rose 1.1% after the drug distributor late Monday agreed to buy independent wholesaler H.D. Smith for $815 million (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amerisourcebergen-to-acquire-hd-smith-for-815-million-2017-11-20).

What are other assets doing?

European stocks traded higher, while Asian markets mostly closed with gains (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tech-stocks-lead-broad-gains-by-asian-markets-2017-11-20). Gold futures and oil futures (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-regains-some-ground-lost-at-the-start-of-the-week-2017-11-21) rose modestly, while the ICE U.S. Dollar Index was slightly weaker at 94.004.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 21, 2017 10:10 ET (15:10 GMT)