Nasdaq Approaches New High as Stocks Gain in Afternoon Trade

(AP) -
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday. (Reuters/Brendan McDermid)

U.S. stocks climbed in late-afternoon trading Tuesday, nudging the Standard & Poor’s 500 index and Nasdaq composite closer to record high closes. Materials and financial companies were among the biggest gainers. Energy stocks also rose as crude oil prices headed higher. Health care, phone companies and other high-dividend stocks were among the biggest laggards as bond yields rose.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 139 points, or 0.7 percent, to 19,939 as of 3:01 p.m. Eastern Time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 17 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,282. The Nasdaq composite index added 50 points, or 0.9 percent, to 5,603. Small-company stocks outpaced the rest of the market. The Russell 2000 jumped 21 points, or 1.6 percent, to 1,368.

AUTOMAKERS: The heads of General Motors, Ford Motor and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles met with President Donald Trump early Tuesday. Trump wants the automakers to build new factories in the U.S. He’s warned of a “substantial border tax” on companies that move manufacturing out of the country and promised tax advantages to those that produce domestically. GM gained 54 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $37.19, while Ford added 28 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $12.59. Fiat Chrysler rose 56 cents, or 5.9 percent, to $10.12.

THE QUOTE: “They used to call some of this jawboning,” said David Winters, CEO of Wintergreen Advisers. “So far President Trump has been encouraging companies to do what’s in his vision of a successful America. There’s a lot of enthusiasm, but it’s really going to be what happens in the next couple of months in terms of legislation so there’s clarity.”

MINE THIS: Freeport-McMoRan jumped 6.8 percent, one of the biggest gainers in the S&P 500 index. The mining company added $1.08 to $16.80.

HOME RUN: Several homebuilders were trading higher. D.R. Horton climbed 6.3 percent after the homebuilder delivered higher earnings as home closings and net home orders increased. The stock added $1.82 to $30.56. Lennar surged $2.50, or 5.7 percent, to $46.25. PulteGroup gained $1.05, or 5.5 percent, to $20.26.

GESUNDHEIT: Kimberly-Clark, which makes Kleenex and other paper products, rose 3.6 percent after reporting earnings that beat analysts’ forecasts. The stock gained $4.16 to $121.14.

MIXED RESULTS: Johnson & Johnson slid 1.8 percent after the company reported fourth-quarter results that edged Wall Street’s forecasts, but also issued a 2017 forecast that fell below what analysts were expecting. The maker of Band-Aids, medical devices and prescription drugs also said it would start seeking a possible sale, joint venture or operating partnerships for its diabetes care businesses. The stock shed $2.02 to $111.89.

HUNG UP: Verizon slumped 4.7 percent after the phone and communications company served up earnings for the last three months of 2016 that fell short of what analysts were expecting. The company, whose deal to buy Yahoo’s internet operations may be in jeopardy, also said that its roster of retail postpaid subscribers fell sharply. The stock fell the most among companies in the S&P 500, sliding $2.48 to $49.93.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany’s DAX rose 0.4 percent, while France’s CAC 40 added 0.2 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 was flat after the Supreme Court said parliament would have a right to vote on whether Britain formally exits the European Union. The ruling doesn’t mean Britain will remain in the EU, but it could delay the process. In Asia, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped 0.6 percent, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.7 percent to 5,650.10. South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.01 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.2 percent.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 43 cents, or 0.8 percent, to close at $53.18 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 21 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $55.44 a barrel in London.

In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline rose a penny to $1.58 a gallon, while heating oil added 2 cents to $1.64 a gallon. Natural gas futures rose 4 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $3.28 per 1,000 cubic feet.

TREASURY YIELDS: Bond prices fell. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.47 percent from 2.40 percent late Monday.

CURRENCIES: In currency markets, the dollar rose to 113.84 yen from 113 yen the previous day. The euro fell to $1.0727 from $1.0746.

METALS: The price of gold slid $4.80, or 0.4 percent, to $1,210.80 an ounce. Silver was little changed at $17.19 an ounce. Copper rose 6 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $2.71 a pound.