S&P 500 pushes higher on retail earnings, Harker comments

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US equities pushed further into record territory on Tuesday, following strong corporate earnings from some major US retailers and a regional Federal Reserve bank president’s comments favouring an interest-rate rise.

After a three-day weekend, the benchmark S&P 500 opened 0.3 per cent higher in New York. Meanwhile the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite both increased about 0.4 per cent at the start of trading.

Energy stocks led the run, with commodity prices lending a boost to corporate earnings.

Those gains were closely followed by financial stocks, in the wake of comments over the weekend from Patrick Harker, president of the Federal Reserve of Philadelphia, who said he would support raising interest rates at the central bank’s meeting in March.

His comments also pushed the yield on the 10-year Treasury note – which moves inversely to its price – 4 basis points higher to 2.45 per cent. Likewise, the dollar index, which measures price of the dollar against a basket of its peers, was 0.57 per cent higher at 101.52.

Mr Harker was also schedule to speak at 12pm on Tuesday at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Walmart and Home Depot were among the major retailers to report before markets opened in New York, and both posted profits that beat expectations.

Global stocks were mixed with the Euro Stoxx 600 up 0.3 per cent and FTSE 100 down 0.3 per cent. Japan’s Nikkei index was 0.7 per cent higher, while China’s Hang Seng was down 0.8 per cent.

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