Technology stocks boosted the Nasdaq Composite index to a record at the open on Tuesday, November, 21, while encouraging results from some retailers and Medtronic helped bolster the gains.
As the third-quarter earnings season winds down and with no major economic data scheduled for the week, trading volumes were thin and expected to get even quieter in the run-up to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Also helping the market was a slight rise in oil prices ahead of next week’s OPEC meeting at which major crude exporters are expected to extend production cuts.
A dip in the dollar index .DXY, after a strong gain on Monday, also eased the pressure on commodities. A lower dollar helps U.S. multinationals increase the value of overseas income.
“With the momentum being to the upside, it’s very easy to keep pushing the market higher,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital in Bernardsville, New Jersey.
“As we get closer to the end of the year, there is a push toward ending the year on a high note.”
At 9:41 a.m. ET (1341 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average. DJI was up 132.58 points, or 0.57 percent, at 23,562.91, the S&P 500. SPX was up 12.36 points, or 0.48 percent, at 2,594.5 and the Nasdaq Composite. IXIC was up 40.23 points, or 0.59 percent, at 6,830.95.
All the 11 major S&P indexes were higher, led by gains in technology index .SPLRCT, which is the best performing sector this year.
Apple’s shares were up 1.1 percent, boosting all three major indexes.
Medtronic rose 5 percent, making it the top gainer on the S&P 500, after the medical device maker reported better-than-expected results and backed its forecast.
Hormel Foods rose 5.4 percent, while Urban Outfitters gained 1.5 percent after issuing their quarterly reports.
Lowe’s dipped marginally despite the No. 2 U.S. home improvement chain reporting strong sales and profit on higher demand after the recent hurricanes.
Other decliners included Signet Jewelers, which tanked 27 percent after reporting weak same-store sales and a surprise quarterly loss.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,959 to 608. On the Nasdaq, 1,654 issues rose and 761 fell.