U.S. stocks rose slightly on Tuesday, nudging major indexes to another round of all-time highs and setting the S&P 500 on course for its sixth up session in a row and yet another record close.
What stock benchmarks are doing
The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.33% rose 78 points, or 0.4%, to 22,628. The S&P 500 SPX, +0.12% rose 2 points to 2,531, an increase of 0.1%. Both hit new intraday highs in early trading.
The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.12% rose 3.9 points, or 0.1%, to 6,521. The tech-heavy index eked out a record of its own before retreating.
The S&P has gained for five consecutive trading days, its longest winning streak since a six-session advance that ended Sept. 1. The Dow has moved higher in four straight sessions, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq has risen for five sessions in a row.
The Russell 2000 RUT, -0.28% fell around 5 points, or 0.3%, to 1,506. The index of small companies hit an all-time high of its own in early trading, but soon turned lower and is on track to snap a seven-day rally.
What strategists are saying
Stocks have been supported by some strong economic data, including the recent ISM manufacturing survey for September, as well as hopes for tax-cut legislation. However, there are some concerns that the market’s rally—the S&P is up 13% thus far this year—has been overdone, especially as the Federal Reserve ends its accommodative monetary policies.
“Data has been pretty strong over the past few days, and that’s giving a boost to markets around the globe. Valuations are elevated, but you can justify them,” said David Joy, chief market strategist at Ameriprise Financial.
Joy added that he “wasn’t necessarily concerned” about market levels, but “they depend on bond yields. The discounting mechanism of low rates are helping to support valuations. If the intermediate part of the yield curve continues to rise, then valuations will be more of a concern.”
Which stocks are in focus?
Shares in Tesla Inc. TSLA, +1.53% fell 0.8%. Late Monday, news came that third-quarter production for the electric car maker’s Model 3 sedan was lower than anticipated, due to manufacturing bottlenecks.
Shares in MGM Resorts International MGM, +0.24% shed 0.2% after falling 5.6% Monday in the wake of the mass shooting at the company’s Mandalay Bay property in Las Vegas.
See: Las Vegas shooter Paddock had 42 guns and a ‘bump stock’
Gun-maker stocks such as Smith & Wesson parent American Outdoor Brands Corp. AOBC, +0.98% and Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. RGR, +0.93% also could see another active session after rallying Monday. They often gain when traders think stricter regulations are coming, as sales can get a lift ahead of any change. Shares of American Outdoor rose 0.5% while Sturm was up 0.7%.
Home builder Lennar Corp. LEN, +5.00% rose 2.6% after better-than-anticipated quarterly results.
September figures for U.S. auto sales are due to roll out throughout the session, with economists polled by MarketWatch expecting 17.3 million vehicles sold overall.
General Motors Co. GM, +2.75% rose 2.7% after it reported U.S. sales growth of 12%, with the stock hitting a record in early trading.
Ford Motor Co. F, +1.90% was up 2.3% after it posted sales growth of 8.7%. The auto maker was also in focus as new CEO Jim Hackett is due to provide an update on the company’s progress at an investor meeting.
Fiat Chrysler’s FCAU, -0.06% September numbers fell by 10% year-on-year, thanks to declines in its Jeep, Chrysler and Dodge brands. Its shares last traded slightly weaker, down 0.3% from yesterday.
Check out: MarketWatch’s Economic Calendar
What other assets are doing
European stock markets SXXP, +0.15% traded in tight ranges on Tuesday, taking a breather after an eight-day winning streak. Asian equity markets largely closed higher, though some bourses remained closed for holidays.
Oil futures CLX7, -0.32% and gold futures GCZ7, -0.10% were lower, as the ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, -0.05% inched up.
—Victor Reklaitis contributed to this article