MARKET SNAPSHOT: Dow Industrials See 100-point Climb As Banks, Health-care Stocks Rally

By Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

JOLTS falls to six-month low

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U.S. stock benchmarks on Tuesday afternoon carved out a series of intraday records, putting the S&P 500 and Nasdaq in position to register a sixth straight gain for 2018--its longest such streak starting a year since 1999.

What are stock benchmarks doing?

Dow Jones Industrial Average tacked on 100 points, or 0.4%, to 25,382, powered by sharp gains in Boeing Co.(BA)amid reports that the plane manufacturer had a backlog of deliveries in 2017 (https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/09/boeing-caps-2017-with-record-deliveries-backlog.html), and Johnson & Johnson(JNJ).

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index gained 8 points, or 0.3%, to 2,755, led by gains in health-care (XLV) and financial stocks (XLF) .

The Nasdaq Composite Index traded, giving back early gains. All three benchmarks as well as the small-cap focused Russell 2000 index and the Dow Jones Transportation Average posted intraday all-time highs.

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On Monday, the Dow edged back by less than 0.1% from Friday's record close (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-poised-to-stretch-out-historic-record-run-as-upbeat-mood-persists-2018-01-08), while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both finished at fresh peaks.

The three main equity benchmarks have gained between 21% and 29% over the past 12 months, supported by factors such an expanding global economy, growth in corporate profits and enthusiasm over the Trump administration's tax cuts.

What could drive markets?

The upbeat sentiment that has kept the 2017 global stock rally running into the new year still has a grip on the market. Fresh data out Tuesday could give a lift to or dampen that enthusiasm.

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

On the Federal Reserve front, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari was slated to take part in a panel discussion at 10 a.m. Eastern at the suburban Minneapolis headquarters of conglomerate Cargill Inc.

What are the data saying?

A December figure for small-business confidence showed a dip to wrap up the strongest year on record (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/small-business-sentiment-dips-at-end-of-strongest-year-on-record-nfib-2018-01-09). Separately, a reading of job openings for November dropped to a six-month low to 5.88 million, compared with 5.93 million in the previous month.

What are strategists saying?

"There is very little for markets to be taking too much notice of in the economic calendar today. The only real interest comes in the U.S. JOLTS jobs openings," said Richard Perry, a Hantec Markets analyst, in a note Tuesday.

"This reminds me of January 2000," said Kent Engelke, chief economic strategist, at Capitol Securities Management, which manages $4 billion in assets, referring to the nearly unceasing climb to records for stocks and the unease it can inspire.

"It's scary, the unrelenting advance," he added "I think that growth will be greater than anticipated and that will cause a change in the monetary [policy] timetable, which will have a negative impact on the [stock] averages]," Engelke said.

Which stocks look like key movers?

Shares in Target Corp.(TGT) jumped 3% after the retailer raised its fiscal fourth-quarter profit outlook, citing stronger-than-expected holiday sales (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/targets-stock-jumps-after-profit-sales-outlook-raised-in-wake-of-strong-holiday-sales-2018-01-09).

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s stock (BABA) rose by 0.3% lower after the Chinese e-commerce giant's founder, Jack Ma, promised to consider listing in Hong Kong (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/alibaba-will-consider-listing-in-hong-kong-says-jack-ma-2018-01-09).

Shares in Intel Corp.(INTC) shed 0.5% after CEO Brian Krzanich delivered a speech at CES late Monday. He detailed advances in virtual reality and other technologies, while also addressing the dark cloud hanging over chip makers (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/intel-ceo-notes-dark-cloud-of-concern-at-ces-moves-onto-a-vision-for-the-future-2018-01-09).

What are other assets doing?

European stocks (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-rise-for-5th-session-in-a-row-stay-at-highest-since-2015-2018-01-09) were gaining ground, and most Asian markets closed higher (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asian-markets-continue-their-early-year-rally-2018-01-08). Oil futures (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-extend-recent-gains-hint-at-fresh-3-year-highs-2018-01-09) added to their recent advance, but gold futures were pulling back. The ICE U.S. Dollar Index was modestly higher.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 09, 2018 11:26 ET (16:26 GMT)