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Soaring airline stocks help Wall Street inch to new heights

🕐 3 min read

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes inched higher in afternoon trading on Tuesday and tacked on a bit more to their records set a day earlier. Trading was again quiet, with only modest moves for bond yields, commodities and other markets. Stock markets were closed in Germany, China and South Korea for holidays.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,531, as of 1:35 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 72, or 0.3 percent, to 22,629, and the Nasdaq composite rose 6, or 0.1 percent, to 6,523. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks dipped by 4 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,505. All four indexes set a record on Monday after a reading on U.S. manufacturing growth hit its highest level in 13 years.

ASCENDING: Airline stocks were leading the market after Delta Air Lines said that it expects to report roughly 2 percent growth in a key revenue measurement for the third quarter. After accounting for the 1 percentage point hit that Delta says it took from Hurricane Irma, growth would be at the higher end of the 2 percent to 3 percent range that Delta had earlier forecast.

Delta rose $2.98, or 6.2 percent, to $51.05 and was on track for its best day since January 2015.

United Continental rose $2.75, or 4.6 percent, to $63.18. American Airlines Group gained$2.07, or 4.3 percent, to $49.80, and Southwest Airlines climbed $1.95, or 3.5 percent, to $57.94.

PAYDAY: Paychex, which offers payroll, human-resources and other services for companies, rose after reporting stronger earnings and revenue for the latest quarter than analysts expected. Its stock climbed $2.02, or 3.4 percent, to $61.83.

REVVED UP: General Motors and Ford Motor were among the market’s leaders after each reported strong sales growth in the United States for last month. It’s a turnaround for automakers, which had seen sales drop across the industry through the year’s first eight months.

GM climbed $1.20, or 2.9 percent, to $43.36, and Ford gained 25 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $12.34.

BUILDING HIGHER: Homebuilder Lennar rose after it reported stronger quarterly sales and earnings than analysts expected. Interest rates remain relatively low, and the strengthening job market is helping to convince more people to buy homes. Lennar rose $2.26, or 4.3 percent, to $55.08.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude dipped 19 cents to $50.39 per barrel. That follows a $1.09-per-barrel slide on Monday as worries mount that the world has more oil available than it needs. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, fell 13 cents to $55.99 a barrel.

YIELDS: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.33 percent from 2.34 percent. The two-year yield fell to 1.46 percent from 1.49 percent, and the 30-year yield rose to 2.88 percent from 2.87 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar inched up to 112.85 Japanese yen from 112.65 yen late Monday. The euro rose to $1.1748 from $1.1746, and the British pound dipped to $1.3243 from $1.3286.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: France’s CAC 40 rose 0.3 percent, and the FTSE 100 in London gained 0.4 percent. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 1 percent to its highest closing level in two years, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 2.2 percent.

COMMODITIES: Gold slipped $1.10 to $1,274.70 per ounce, silver slipped a penny to $16.65 per ounce and copper rose 1 cent to $2.96 per pound.

Natural gas fell 2 cents to $2.90 per 1,000 cubic feet, heating oil dropped 2 cents to $1.75 per gallon and wholesale gasoline was close to flat at $1.56 per gallon.

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