Dow, Nasdaq hit fresh records at open

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 48.34 points, or 0.21 per cent, to 22,809.41. The S&P 500 gained 6.18 points, or 0.24 per cent, to 2,550.91.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 48.34 points, or 0.21 per cent, to 22,809.41. The S&P 500 gained 6.18 points, or 0.24 per cent, to 2,550.91.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - The three major Wall Street indexes scaled new records on Tuesday (Oct 10), helped by gains in energy stocks and in Wal-Mart on the back of the company's US$20 billion (S$27.2 billion) share buyback plan.

Wal-Mart rose 3.8 per cent after the retail giant unveiled the buyback plan and forecast US online sales would rise by about 40 per cent in next fiscal year.

Oil prices gained more than 1 per cent, supported by Saudi Arabian export cuts in November and comments from OPEC and trading companies that the market is rebalancing after years of oversupply. All the 11 major S&P indexes were higher.

The S&P energy index gained 0.85 per cent, while Wal-Mart led the consumer staples index 1.16 per cent higher.

At 9:38 a.m. ET (9:38 p.m. Singapore time), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 50.31 points, or 0.22 per cent, at 22,811.38, the S&P 500 was up 6.6 points, or 0.26 per cent, at 2,551.33 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 22.53 points, or 0.34 per cent, at 6,602.26.

The gains come after two rather tepid days that slowed the rally in stocks this year that was driven by strong corporate earnings, hopes of tax cuts and looser regulations. But the rally has led to elevated valuations, which investors will look to justify through corporate profits in the upcoming third-quarter earnings season.

Earnings at S&P 500 companies are expected to have increased 4.8 per cent last quarter, according to Thomson Reuters data, down from the double-digit growth recorded in the first two quarters of this year.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,018 to 495. On the Nasdaq, 1,725 issues rose and 632 fell.