Wall Street extends rally
NEW YORK — U.S. stocks ended higher for the second straight session on Tuesday, as robust housing data and strong earnings from Dow component Home Depot overshadowed lingering concerns about the conflict in Ukraine.
With the day’s gains, the S&P 500 ended within 10 points of its all-time intraday high of 1,991.39 reached on July 24. The Nasdaq Composite extended Monday’s gains and ended on Tuesday at yet another 14-year high.
Apple Inc. was among the most heavily traded names of the day after the stock hit $100 for the first time since its seven-for-one split in June. The stock climbed 1.4 percent to a new split-adjusted closing high of $100.53. Apple contributed the most to the gains of both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite in Tuesday’s session.
Consumer discretionary shares led advances in the S&P 500 as a string of positive earnings reports lifted the stocks of major retailers. Home Depot Inc. rose 5.6 percent, its largest daily percentage gain since May 2009, to close at a record $88.23. The stock also set an intraday lifetime high of $88.98. The rally occurred after the world’s largest home improvement retailer beat Wall Street’s earnings expectations.
Shares of Lowe’s Cos, a Home Depot rival, rose 2.1 percent to $51.52.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 80.85 points, or 0.48 percent, to close at 16,919.59. The S&P 500 gained 9.86 points, or 0.50 percent, to end at 1,981.60. The Nasdaq Composite added 19.20 points, or 0.43 percent, to finish at 4,527.51, its highest close since March 31, 2000.
Encouraging data on the economic front gave the market another boost, driving the PHLX housing sector index up 1.7 percent. Housing starts posted their strongest rebound in eight months in July, topping expectations.