Dow, S&P, Nasdaq end at record highs; auto, airline shares jump

VIDEO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - Airline and automotive equities were among the big gainers on Tuesday (Oct 3) as all three major US stock indices finished at records for the second straight session.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended at 0.4 per cent at 22,641.67.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.2 per cent to 2,534.58, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.2 per cent to 6,531.71.

Automakers rallied as September US car sales spiked after major hurricanes forced consumers to replace hundreds of thousands of flooded vehicles. General Motors jumped 3.1 per cent and Ford 2.1 per cent after both companies reported a healthy bounce in sales.

Airline shares were also strong after Delta Air Lines projected a two percent increase in a closely-watched revenue benchmark for the third quarter. Analysts said the forecast eased worries about the profit hit from canceled flights due to the storms.

Delta, American Airlines and United Continental all surged about six percent.

US stocks have been on a tear in the wake of the introduction of a tax cut proposal last week from President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans.

Stocks have also been boosted by better economic data and positive sentiment about the upcoming corporate earnings period. The next major data release is Friday's US jobs report for September.

Wells Fargo added 0.2 per cent after chief executive Tim Sloan defended the bank's response to a fake accounts scandal that has shadowed the bank over the last year. But some lawmakers still harshly criticised the bank over plans to cut jobs and force consumers into arbitration to settle disputes.