Stocks started off the shorter trading week on strong footing after 3 consecutive days of modest losses, with the Dow reasserting itself at a new all-time high by the close of trading.
A swell of economic data played into Tuesday’s numbers, beginning with the Case-Schiller/S&P 500 composite index of single-family home prices in 20 metropolitan areas around the U.S. up 1.1 percent for the month of March, slightly ahead of forecasts of 1 percent. Year-over-year, prices in those 20 cities were up 10.9 percent, ahead of estimates of 10.2 percent.
The Richmond Federal Reserve manufacturing survey was also released, indicating both less contraction and less contraction than expected. May’s -2 was an improvement on April’s -6, as well as ahead of expectations of -4.
Meanwhile, the Conference Board’s consumer confidence survey for the month of May indicated a more than seven percent increase to 76.2,a five-year high, following last month’s 69.0, while economists had predicted a figure of around 71.2.
The S&P 500 closed the day on a 0.63 percent advance to 1,660.06, led by nice gains for TripAdvisor Inc. (TRIP), up 4.23 percent to $64.30, State Street Corp. (STT) up 4.12 percent to $67.15, and E*Trade Financial (ETFC) up 3.98 to $11.76.
Tiffany & Co. (TIF) was up 3.95 percent to $79.22 after releasing a strong earnings report early on in the trading day, while Ford Motor Co. (F) had the day’s highest-volume gain, 3.31 percent to $15.28
The Dow closed at a new all-time high of 15,409.39 points, an advance of 0.69 percent. Microsoft led the way on a gain of 2.19 percent to $35.02, followed by Unitedhealth Group, Inc. (UNH), up 2.06 percent to $63.34, and Walt Disney Co. (DIS) up 1.83 percent to $66.69.
Only six of the Dow’s components were in the negative on Tuesday, with losses of over 1 percent for AT&T (T), down 1.55 percent to $36.18, Proctor & Gamble (PG) down 1.25 percent to $80.86, and Verizon Communications (VZ) down 1.11 percent to $50.82.
The Nasdaq closed up 0.86 percent to 3,488.89 points, with the day’s most notable performer being Tesla Motors (TSLA), the electric car maker that has been on a tear over the last few weeks, up another 13.65 percent to $110.33 and climbing over $100 per share for the first time after the company announced plans to expand its solar-powered recharging stations, in addition to a visit to the company’s factory in Northern California by Goldman Sachs (GS) analysts.
Google (GOOG) was up 0.91 percent to $881.27, while Amazon.com (AMZN) was up 2.12 percent to $267.29, and Argentine-based South and Central American version of Amazon, Mercadolibre (MELI) was up 1.05 percent to $118.35.