US stock indexes bob further into record territory

By STAN CHOE Markets Associated Press

U.S. stock indexes bobbed a bit further into record territory Tuesday, joining a smooth rise higher for markets around the world.

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KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index ticked up by 3 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,402, as of 10:04 a.m. Eastern time. If it remains up for the day, it would mark the third straight session where it's set an all-time high.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 22 points, or 0.1 percent, to 21,034, and the Nasdaq composite rose 27 points, or 0.4 percent, to 6,130.

MARKETS ABROAD: European markets were mostly higher, and the German DAX rose 0.5 percent. The CAC 40 in France gained 0.3 percent, and the FTSE 100 in London rose 0.6 percent.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index dipped 0.3 percent, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong jumped 1.3 percent. South Korean markets were closed as votes headed to the polls to vote for president.

CHECKING IN: Marriott International jumped $5.21, or 5.4 percent, to $101.58 after reporting stronger-than-expected earnings for the latest quarter. The hotel operator cited improving trends around the world, from North America to Europe to Asia.

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OFF THE LOT: Hertz Global Holdings sank $2.62, or 17.6 percent, to $12.29 after reporting a larger loss for the last quarter than analysts expected.

YIELDS RISE: Treasury yields rose as bond prices dropped. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.40 percent from 2.39 percent late Monday. It has been climbing since hitting a low of 2.17 percent three weeks ago.

DIVIDEND PAYERS: When bond yields were scraping close to their record lows last summer, the relatively big dividends paid out by utility stocks, telecoms and real-estate investment trusts looked particularly attractive. Now, with bonds beginning to pay more interest, demand for dividends has dulled a bit.

Telecom stocks in the S&P 500 fell 0.7 percent, most among the 11 sectors that make up the index. Utilities and real-estate stocks weren't far behind, both down 0.5 percent. Telecom stocks have dropped nearly 11 percent this year, when the overall S&P 500 is up 7 percent.

EVERYONE REMAINS CALM: Markets have been placid, as investors keep crossing off reasons to fear. Last week's jobs report gave reassurance that the U.S. economy is improving despite its weak showing at the start of the year, and companies have been turning in stronger profit reports. This past weekend's presidential election in France also raised confidence that voters may be turning their back on a nationalistic brand of politics that could hurt global trade.

The market has become so calm that an index used to measure fear among traders is close to its lowest in more than two decades. The VIX volatility index on Monday hit its lowest closing level since 1993, and it held close to that level Tuesday.

CURRENCIES: The euro fell to $1.0896 from $1.0930 late Monday. The dollar rose to 114.07 Japanese yen from 113.07 yen, and the British pound slipped to $1.2928 from $1.2943.

COMMODITIES: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 36 cents to $46.07 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, slipped 39 cents to $48.95 per barrel.

Natural gas rose 3 cents to $3.21 per 1,000 cubic feet, heating oil fell a penny to $1.45 per gallon and wholesale gasoline slipped 1 cent to $1.51 per gallon.

Gold dipped $6.70 to $1,220.40 per ounce, silver fell 10 cents to $16.16 per ounce and copper added a penny to $2.50 per pound.