Vehicle sales come in better than expected, help add to market optimism
U.S. stock benchmarks scrambled deeper into record territory on Tuesday, setting the S&P 500 on course for its sixth gain in a row, as investors took their cues from upbeat data, including a report on vehicle sales.
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What stock benchmarks are doing
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 84 points, or 0.4%, to 22,640. The S&P 500 rose 4 points to 2,533, an increase of 0.2%.
The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 10 points, or 0.2%, to 6,526.
The S&P has gained for five consecutive trading days, its longest winning streak since a six-session advance that ended Sept. 1. The Dow has moved higher in four straight sessions, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq has risen for five sessions in a row.
The Russell 2000 , meanwhile, fell around 3 points, or 0.2%, to 1,506. The index of small companies hit an all-time high in early trading, but soon turned lower and is on track to snap a seven-session rally.
What are driving markets?
Stocks have been supported by some strong economic data, including the recent ISM manufacturing survey (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/key-yardstick-of-us-manufacturers-touches-highest-level-since-2004-ism-finds-2017-10-02) for September, as well as hopes for tax-cut legislation. However, there are lingering concerns that the market's record advance--the S&P is up 13% year to date, the Dow is on track for a nearly 15% return thus far this year, while the Nasdaq has gained more than 20%--has been overdone. That's especially as the Federal Reserve increases borrowing costs.
What strategists are saying
Which stocks are in focus?
Shares in MGM Resorts International(MGM) shed 0.2% after falling 5.6% Monday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/mgm-resorts-stock-falls-5-premarket-after-mandalay-bay-shooting-2017-10-02) in the wake of the mass shooting at the company's Mandalay Bay property in Las Vegas.
See:Las Vegas shooter Paddock had 42 guns and a 'bump stock' (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/las-vegas-shooter-paddock-had-42-guns-and-a-device-enabling-firing-at-an-automatic-rate-2017-10-03)
Gun-maker stocks such as Smith & Wesson parent American Outdoor Brands Corp.(AOBC) and Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. (RGR) also could see another active session after rallying Monday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gun-maker-stocks-surge-after-mass-shooting-in-las-vegas-2017-10-02). They often gain when traders think stricter regulations are coming, as sales can get a lift ahead of any change. Shares of both American Outdoor and Sturm rose 0.9%.
What are the data saying?
Major auto makers posted better-than-expected sales gains in September amid heavier consumer discounts and demand to replace hurricane-damaged vehicles, giving the industry relief from a protracted period of (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gm-ford-toyota-post-sharp-sept-sales-gains-2017-10-03-144851637)declining results.
General Motors Co.(GM) rose 2.7% after it reported U.S. sales growth of 12% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gms-stock-shoots-up-to-record-high-after-september-sales-report-2017-10-03), with the stock hitting a record in early trading.
Ford Motor Co.(F) was up 2.3% after it posted sales growth of 8.7%. The auto maker was also in focus as new CEO Jim Hackett is due to provide an update on the company's progress (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-ford-chief-says-ready-to-tinker-under-the-hood-2017-09-30) at an investor meeting.
Fiat Chrysler's (FCA.MI) September numbers fell by 10% year-over-year (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fiat-chryslers-us-september-sales-fall-with-sharp-declines-in-jeep-chrysler-and-dodge-brand-sales-2017-10-03), thanks to declines in its Jeep, Chrysler and Dodge brands. Its shares last traded slightly weaker, down 0.3% from yesterday.
Shares in Tesla Inc.(TSLA) pared previous losses and rose almost 1.6%. Late Monday, news came that third-quarter production for the electric car maker's Model 3 sedan was lower than anticipated, due to manufacturing bottlenecks (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tesla-model-3-hit-by-production-bottleneck-that-slowed-initial-deliveries-2017-10-02), causing Tesla's shares to take a dive.
Home builder Lennar Corp. (LEN) rose 5.3% after better-than-anticipated quarterly results (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/lennars-stock-set-for-rally-after-profit-and-sales-beat-expectations-2017-10-03).
Check out:MarketWatch's Economic Calendar (http://www.marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic)
What other assets are doing
European stock markets (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-pause-for-breath-after-8-day-winning-run-2017-10-03) traded in tight ranges on Tuesday, taking a breather after an eight-day winning streak. Asian equity markets largely closed higher (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/hang-seng-nikkei-lead-market-gains-in-asia-2017-10-02), though some bourses remained closed for holidays.
Oil futures were trading slightly lower (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-slips-further-on-concerns-about-higher-supply-2017-10-03), while gold futures booked their third straight decline (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-extends-retreat-as-bond-yields-stocks-rise-2017-10-03), as the ICE U.S. Dollar Index inched higher (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-holds-ground-at-six-week-highs-2017-10-03).
--Victor Reklaitis contributed to this article
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 03, 2017 14:45 ET (18:45 GMT)