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

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

Lowe's, Dollar Tree, Medtronic, Campbell Soup report earnings

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U.S. stock-market indexes traded above previous closing records on Tuesday, with the Nasdaq notching a record, as technology shares led the way higher.

Investors focused on a number of corporate earnings and 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, rather than stay on as a Fed governor.

What are the main benchmarks doing?

The S&P 500 index rose 16 points, or 0.6%, to 2,598, setting an intraday record. Nearly all the main index were trading higher, with the technology and health-care stocks leading the gains.

The Nasdaq Composite advanced 64 points, or 1%, to 6,854, also setting an intraday record.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 155 points, or 0.6%, to 23,585, with 27 of its 30 components trading higher. Apple Inc.(AAPL) was leading the gains, up 2%.

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?

"Today's gains have all of the hallmarks of short covering by traders who positioned conservatively after two weeks of declines," said Michael Antonelli, equity sales trader at Robert W. Baird & Co.

Antonelli noted that historically the week of Thanksgiving is positive.

"Seasonally, this is a good week. But also, there are not no macro news that would force people to sell," Antonelli said.

What could help drive markets?

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

Sales of previously-owned homes jumped (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/existing-home-sales-rebound-in-october-even-as-inventory-crunch-worsens-2017-11-21) to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 5.48 million in October.

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 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 11:01 ET (16:01 GMT)