© FT montage; Bloomberg

The S&P 500 squeaked out a fresh record high on Tuesday, overcoming a cautious mood among investors after underwhelming results from Google parent Alphabet.

The benchmark index, which fell as much as 0.6 per cent early in the session, notched a 0.1 per cent gain to settle at 2,945.83, a new closing high. The S&P ended the month with a 3.9 per cent gain, its best showing since January and its strongest April rally in a decade.

The Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.7 per cent, retreating from its own record high with Alphabet’s 7.5 per cent slide weighing on the tech-heavy gauge.

The mixed results came amid upbeat results from GE and McDonald’s, whose shares were up 4.6 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively.

Alongside the latest batch of corporate earnings, investors also have their eyes peeled for updates on US-China trade talks. Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Tuesday negotiations between the two sides are in “the final laps” and that he hopes to make “substantial progress”.

Across the Atlantic, the euro picked up on Tuesday after stronger-than-expected growth data for the currency area’s first quarter and robust inflation data from Germany.

Confirmation that Italy’s economy returned to growth in the period helped the trend, and Milan’s FTSE MIB rose 0.4 per cent, outrunning a trend for flat stock indices across Europe.

As the data helped ease the worst of investors’ concerns about the currency area’s lacklustre economy, the euro turned positive for the day to rise 0.3 per cent overall, reaching $1.1215, a four-session high. The turnround trimmed the shared currency’s 2019 decline to just over 2 per cent. The dollar index was 0.3 per cent lower, pulling back further from the near two-year peak reached last Friday.

Frankfurt’s Xetra Dax 30 shed earlier losses to gain 0.1 per cent, while the Europe-wide Stoxx 600 recovered to climb fractionally higher. London’s FTSE 100 was down 0.3 per cent.

Asian trade tracked data from China’s manufacturing sector which showed slower expansion than economists expected in April, according to government and private sector gauges released on Tuesday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.7 per cent, while the mainland’s CSI 300 was muted, ticking up 0.3 per cent.

Snapshot

Level+/- %
Dollar index97.521-0.3
Sterling vs dollar$1.30400.8
Brent$72.78+1
US 10-year Treasury yield2.5054%-3.1 bps
S&P 500 2,945.83+0.1

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