Wall Street closed higher for a fourth session on Tuesday, with the benchmark S&P 500 touching a record high, on encouraging earnings reports in the consumer sector and optimism over US-China trade talks.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 63 points, or 0.24%, to 25,821, the S&P 500 rose six points, or 0.20%, to 2,863 and the Nasdaq Composite added 38 points, or 0.49%, to 7,859.
With the second-quarter earnings seasons essentially over, investors are now focusing on minutes from the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting due out Wednesday and could provide insights into the latest thinking on rate hikes.
Trade-sensitive industrial stocks rose for the fourth consecutive session as investors remained optimistic the US and China could move closer to settling their trade dispute.
The S&P consumer discretionary index climbed 0.9% as shares of off-price retailer TJX Companies rose on strong results. Toll Brothers surged 14% after it reported its third-quarter results and gave a full-year sales outlook.
Coty Inc. plunged 7.1% after it reported fourth-quarter revenue that missed expectations, although its adjusted profits topped forecasts by a penny a share.
Medtronic gained 5.7% after the medical device company posted first-quarter earnings and revenue that beat expectations.
Kohl’s Corp. added 1.7% after the retailer reported adjusted second-quarter earnings that beat expectations, along with revenue that was ahead of forecasts.
J.M. Smucker reported adjusted first-quarter earnings that beat expectations but its shares fell 6.6%.
Shares of discount brokers slumped after a report that JP Morgan Chase was planning to launch a new digital brokerage service that comes with free trades. TD Ameritrade Holding Corp.’s stock tumbled 7.1%, Charles Schwab Corp. shed 2.4% and E-Trade Financial Corp.’s stock slid 4.4%. JP Morgan’s stock, meanwhile, gained 0.6%.
In Asia, share markets were mixed on Wednesday in morning session as investors reacted to developments in US politics that saw President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen plead guilty in federal court.
Australia's ASX 200 fell 0.47%. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 traded up by 0.15% while South Korea's Kospi rose 0.14%.
The Greater China markets were in negative territory in early trade. The Hang Seng index was down by 0.49% while the Shanghai composite and Shenzhen composite were lower by 0.6% and 0.67% respectively.