U.S. Stocks Keep Climbing as Banks and Technology Firms Lead

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

U.S. stocks are rising again Tuesday as strong company earnings lift the market. The benchmark S&P 500 index is up for the fourth day in a row and fifth out of the last six. Technology companies and banks are making some of the largest gains. Overseas markets are also higher.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 10 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,861 as of 12:05 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 160 points, or 0.6 percent, to 25,663. The Nasdaq composite rose 22 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,881. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks climbed 6 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,691.

The S&P 500 is trading at its highest levels since Jan. 26, when it closed at its most recent all-time high. After that peak, it dropped 10 percent in nine days as investors worried about signs that inflation was accelerating. That hasn’t materialized, but trade fears have weighed on the market since then.

HAPPY DAY AT HERTZ: Rental car company Hertz is on pace for its biggest gain in a decade after it topped Wall Street expectations. Its stock soared 26.6 percent to $19.84, but even with that huge gain, the stock is still down this year.

A little more than four years ago, the stock traded above $120 a share. Hertz plunged as the company dealt with overcapacity in the rental car market and as the value of its vehicles decreased. Hertz has changed CEOs twice in four years.

OFF TO THE RACES: Arts and crafts marketplace Etsy surged 11.1 percent to $47.15 after it reported stronger sales than analysts anticipated and raised its forecasts for the year.

Banks and financial companies climbed. Charles Schwab rose 2.2 percent to $51.50 and Berkshire Hathaway built on Monday’s rally by adding 1.7 percent to $209.60.

Technology stocks, which tumbled last month after weak results from companies including Facebook and Twitter, continued to make a gradual recovery. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, rose 1.7 percent to $1,258.97.

ENERGY: U.S. crude oil rose 0.5 percent to $69.35 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, rose 0.8 percent to $74.32 a barrel in London.

Exxon Mobile climbed 1.5 percent to $81.37 and ConocoPhillips rose 2.5 percent to $73.52.

BIG CAVITY: Dental products maker Dentsply cut its forecasts and took a $1.26 billion charge connected to its technology and equipment business. The company said sales and profit margins have been weaker than expected and it plans to restructure its business. The stock dropped 18.5 percent to $39.46.

Online real estate marketplace Zillow cut its revenue forecast for the year and also said it’s buying Mortgage Lenders of America. Terms weren’t disclosed. The stock dropped 16.5 percent to $48.57.

ICAHN OPPOSITION: Billionaire investor Carl Icahn said health insurer Cigna shouldn’t buy pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts. He said the $52 billion deal costs too much and that Express Scripts faces several major threats.

Icahn owns Cigna stock and has bet that Express Scripts stock will fall. But both stocks rose Tuesday. Express Scripts gained 1.2 percent to $77.78 and Cigna rose 1.2 percent to $190.10.

Express Scripts stock is down 2 percent and Cigna is up 6 percent since the Wall Street Journal reported that Icahn is against the deal.

WATCH IT DROP: Weight Watchers International sank 13.6 percent to $79.71. The weight loss company raised its forecasts for the year, but said it lost subscribers in the second quarter.

The stock has almost doubled in value this year and was worth about $12 per share in March 2017 when the company announced a deal with Oprah Winfrey to promote its products.

BONDS: Bond prices dipped. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.96 percent from 2.95 percent.

CHINA INVESTMENT: A government newspaper said Beijing planned to issue policies to encourage investment amid concern about slowing economic growth and trade tensions. The China Daily said some state banks issued orders to local branches to lend more money. The report, citing an unidentified official of the Cabinet planning agency, said spending on infrastructure is one target for support but gave no other details.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 111.20 yen from 111.40 yen. The euro rose to $1.1595 from $1.1556.

OVERSEAS: Germany’s DAX rose 0.4 percent and France’s CAC 40 advanced 0.9 percent. London’s FTSE 100 gained 0.7 percent.

The Japanese Nikkei 225 advanced 0.7 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.5 percent. In South Korea, the Kospi rose 0.6 percent.