NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks were heading for more records Tuesday as most industries, including technology and health care companies, posted solid gains. Solid quarterly reports were boosting companies including medical device maker Medtronic and construction services company Jacobs Engineering, while Signet Jewelers is tumbling.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed 17 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,599 as of 1:25 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 179 points, or 0.8 percent, to 23,610. The Nasdaq composite added 65 points, or 1 percent, to 6,855. All three indexes are on track to break the records they set earlier this month. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose for a fourth day and picked up 11 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,515. That’s above its record close from early October.
FOLLOW THE LEADERS: Big-name technology companies lead the way. Apple rose $3.11, or 1.8 percent, to $173.09 and Microsoft advanced $1.09, or 1.3 percent, to $83.62 while Facebook added $2.60, or 1.5 percent, to $181.34. Health care companies climbed as well. Those two sectors are the best-performing parts of the market this year. Basic materials companies, which have done better than the rest of the S&P 500, also rose.
High-dividend stocks like utilities lagged the market and telecommunications companies took small losses. They are considered safer, more stable investments that do better when investors expect market turbulence.
HEART BEAT: Medical device company Medtronic jumped after it posted profit that was larger than analysts had expected. The company said sales of heart devices including newer devices like its CoreValve Evolut Pro heart valve, drove its sales higher in the fiscal second quarter. The stock rose $3.89, or 4.9 percent, to $82.79.
HIGH RISE: Homebuilders climbed after the National Association of Realtors said sales of homes grew in October. They’re down slightly from last year because there are so few houses on the market, but the tight supply and rising prices has sent homebuilder stocks soaring this year. On Tuesday, NVR advanced $80.03, or 2.4 percent, to $3,397.34, while D.R. Horton gained $1.13, or 2.3 percent, to $49.33 and Lennar rose $1.26, or 2.1 percent, to $60.38.
TARNISHED: Signet Jewelers plunged $21.74, or 28.7 percent, to $54.10 after the company slashed its annual forecast. The company recently sold its highest-quality loans to Alliance Data Systems, but the company said “disruptions” related to that move have affected sales, especially for its Kay brand.
Alliance Data Systems fell $2.09 to $222.58. Aaron’s, which is running a lease-payment program for other Signet customers, fell 69 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $36.05.
BUILDING UP: Construction and technical services company Jacobs Engineering had a stronger fourth quarter than analysts expected. Its shares added $5.632, or 9.5 percent, to $64.97.
THEY DO LIKE SPAM: Food maker Hormel climbed after its quarterly profit and sales came out ahead of Wall Street projections. So did the company’s forecasts for the rest of the year. The stock climbed $1.09, or 3.3 percent, to $34.49.
NUTS TO SOUP: Campbell Soup’s profit and sales both fell a bit short of analysts’ forecasts. The company reported a 9 percent drop in soup revenue and said carrot costs increased. It also faced greater logistics costs in the aftermath of the hurricanes. The stock shed $4.03, or 8.1 percent, to $45.90.
BONDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.36 percent from 2.37 percent.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil climbed 18 cents to $56.60 a barrel in New York, while Brent crude, the international standard, added 1 cent to $62.23 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 112.37 yen from 112.67 yen. The euro rose to $1.17483 from $1.1732.
OVERSEAS: Germany’s DAX gained 0.8 percent and the CAC 40 of France CAC 40 rose 0.5 percent. The FTSE 100 index in Britain rose 0.3 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.7 percent while the Kospi in South Korea added 0.1 percent. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 1.9 percent, its biggest gain in two months.