Wal-Mart rally pushes Dow to all-time high

Wal-Mart rally pushes Dow to all-time high”

Wal-Mart (WMT.N) jumped 4.47 percent to a two-year high after forecasting USA online sales would rise by about 40 percent in the next fiscal year and unveiling a $20-billion share buyback.

American Airlines (AAL.O) jumped 4.80 percent and United Continental (UAL.N) soared 4.67 percent after the two airlines gave encouraging third-quarter forecasts.

Stocks finished higher after back-to-back losses but the three major indexes showed little strength after attaining session highs in the opening minutes; in the end, only the Dow (+0.3%) finished at a new record high, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq pulled back from their high-water marks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 69.61 points (0.31 per cent) to 22,830.68, about 55 points above the record set last week.

Wal-Mart jumped 4.4 percent Tuesday after the giant retailer said it expected a 40 percent surge in online sales next year.

Energy companies were also higher as crude oil and natural gas prices rose.

Asian markets closed higher: Tokyo's Nikkei added 0.6 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.6 per cent, and China's Shanghai Composite increased by 0.3 per cent.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 4.44 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,508.01.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 27 points, or 0.1 percent, to 22,789.

The Nasdaq is down 2.93 points, or 0.04 percent.

Another Dow component Pfizer said Tuesday that it was thinking about selling or spinning off its consumer health-care business, which generates 3.4 billion USA dollars in annual sales.

That helped the S&P 500 consumer staples index jump 0.99 per cent, although gains in that sector were limited by P&G, which dropped 0.54 per cent after activist investor Nelson Peltz unexpectedly failed in his bid to win a board seat.

The Russell 2000 is down 2.21 points, or 0.1 percent.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.90-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.58-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.

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