U.S. stocks marked a fourth straight finish firmly in the green Tuesday afternoon as Wall Street shifted from consternation over global trade disputes to enthusiasm over coming second-quarter earnings results following a string of strong economic data that has refreshed investor optimism.
What did the main benchmarks do?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, >-0.03% closed up 143.07 points, or 0.6%, to 24,919.66, with the benchmark posting its first four-day rise since a similar streak ended June 11, according to FactSet data. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index SPX, >-0.09% added 9.67 points, or 0.4%, to 2,793.84, reaching its highest close since Feb.1 when it hit closed at 2,821.98. The financials sector XLF, >+0.18% comprised of some of the biggest banks, was the only sector in the red, down 0.4%.
The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, >-0.07% meanwhile, edged up 3 points, or less than 0.1%, finishing virtually unchanged at 7,759.20.
On Monday, the Dow closed higher by 320.11 points , or 1.3%, as the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite each added 0.9%.
The blue-chip gauge turned positive for the year on Monday, and ended Tuesday up 0.8% year to date, while the S&P and tech-laden Nasdaq have advanced 4.5% and 12.4%, respectively.
Separately, the small-capitalization focused Russell 2000 index RUT, >-0.26% hit an intraday peak at 1,708.56 Tuesday morning, but ended firmly lower, down 0.6% at 1,694.13.
What drove markets?
Recent economics reports have been seen as underlining the strength of the U.S. economy at a time when many investors are concerned about worsening relations between Washington and its major trading partners.
Meanwhile, investors are bracing for a round of quarterly earnings reports that are expected to underscore American corporations’ health.
A trio of giant banks —
JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM, >+1.26% ,
Citigroup Inc. C, >+0.33% and
Wells Fargo & Co. WFC, >+0.14% — are due to reveal their results Friday. Citigroup’s shares ended off by about 1%, Wells Fargo’s stock declined by 0.3%, while shares of JPMorgan fell by 0.6%.
What did strategists say?
“In the absence of bad news, we drift higher because that is what our bias has been,” said Kim Forrest, senior portfolio manager at Fort Pitt Capital. “Yesterday's decision by the market as a whole to ignore trade [fears] was a pivotal, I really think” she said.
“With the prospect of a positive earnings season ahead of us, investors seem to have forgotten the threat of further trade tensions,” said Konstantinos Anthis, head of research at ADS Securities, in a note Tuesday.
Which other stocks were in focus?
In the media sector,
21st Century Fox Inc. FOX, >-1.10% is preparing to counter
Comcast Corp.’s CMCSA, >-1.75% latest offer for
Sky PLC SKY, >-0.17% with a new, higher bid, according to a Financial Times report. Shares of Fox closed up 0.4% while Comcast shares were off 0.7%, and Sky’s stock finished London trading with a 2.3% gain.
What did economic reports say?
A June report on U.S. small-business confidence showed sentiment has slipped, but it’s still high by historical standards.
A May reading on U.S. job openings showed that openings fell to 6.64 million from a record 6.84 million the previous month.
Check out: MarketWatch’s Economic Calendar
On the Federal Reserve front, no Fed officials were expected to give speeches Tuesday.