(RTTNews) – After an early move to the downside, stocks have once again turned mostly higher over the course of the trading session on Tuesday. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 have climbed well off their early lows, joining the Dow in positive territory.
The Dow is posting a standout gain on the day, climbing 290.70 points or 0.9 percent to 34,203.14. The S&P 500 is also up 17.19 points or 0.4 percent at 4,314.33, while the Nasdaq is posting a modest gain, up 6.81 points or 0.1 percent at 13,134.86.
Strong gains by Walmart (WMT) and Home Depot (HD) continue to contribute to the advance by the Dow, with the retail giants jumping by 6 percent and 5 percent, respectively.
The rallies by Walmart and Home Depot come after both companies reported better than expected second quarter results.
Buying interest may also have been generated in reaction to a report from the Federal Reserve showing U.S. industrial production increased by more than expected in the month of July.
The Fed said industrial production climbed by 0.6 percent in July following a revised unchanged reading in June.
Economists had expected industrial production to rise by 0.3 percent compared to the 0.2 percent dip originally reported for the previous month.
Meanwhile, traders have largely shrugged off a Commerce Department showing new residential construction tumbled by much more than expected in the month of July.
The report showed housing starts plunged by 9.6 percent to an annual rate of 1.446 million in July after slumping by 2.4 percent to a rate of 1.559 million in June. Economists had expected housing starts to decline by 1.2 percent to a rate of 1.540 million.
With the much steeper than expected drop, housing starts dove to their lowest annual rate since hitting 1.430 million in February of 2021.
Building permits, an indicator of future housing demand, also fell by 1.3 percent to an annual rate of 1.674 million after inching up by 0.1 percent to a revised rate of 1.696 million in June.
Economists had expected building permits to tumble by 2.1 percent to an annual rate of 1.650 million from the 1.685 million originally reported for the previous month.
Retail stocks have moved sharply higher following the upbeat earnings news from Walmart and Home Depot, with the Dow Jones U.S. Retail Index surging 2.7 percent to its best intraday level in well over three months.
Banking, steel and transportation stocks have also moved to the upside over the course of the session, while considerable weakness remains visible among biotechnology stocks.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance on Tuesday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slumped by 1.1 percent and Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index closed just below the unchanged line, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index inched up by 0.1 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index climbed by 0.7 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.4 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.
In the bond market, treasuries have climbed off their lows of the session but remain in negative territory. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 3.8 basis points at 2.829 percent.