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US stocks edge higher as positive housing data outweighs stimulus stall

Reuters / Lucas Jackson

  • US stocks edged higher on Tuesday as investors looked for signs of progress on government stimulus and US-China trade talks.
  • The S&P 500 hit a record high in intraday trading before paring gains. 
  • Housing starts jumped by 22.6% in July, more than economists expected, showing continued strength in the housing-market recovery.
  • Democrats and Republicans remain deadlocked in negotiations on the next stimulus bill, while the Trump administration on Monday imposed new restrictions on Huawei.
  • Read more on Business Insider.

US stocks edged higher on Tuesday as  positive housing data outweighed stalled negotiations for further government stimulus. 

The S&P 500 hit an intraday record Tuesday morning, climbing to a fresh high of 3,393.52 before paring gains. It’s the first time the index has reached a record since the coronavirus pandemic roiled global markets in March. 

Investors also got a further glimpse into the economic recovery on Tuesday as a Commerce Department report said housing starts increased by 22.6% in July. The jump was more than economists expected and marked the third straight month of increases.

Here’s where US indexes stood at 2:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday:

Read more: MORGAN STANLEY: A historic shift is taking place under the market’s surface. Here are 5 reasons why it will redefine the investing landscape as we know it.

Negotiations between Democrats and Republicans on the next stimulus package appear to have reached a stalemate, and another round of aid isn’t likely to come soon. Still, investors seem to expect that another stimulus bill will be passed eventually. 

On Monday, the US Commerce Department issued new rules tightening Huawei’s access to foreign chips, the latest move in the Trump administration’s crackdown on the technology company. This could complicate issues between the US and China.

Earnings season continued, with Walmart and Home Depot both reporting results that beat Wall Street’s expectations on Tuesday before the bell. Kohl’s tumbled as much as 17% after reporting declining sales and giving a grim outlook for the future. Target and Nvidia are scheduled to report earnings on Wednesday.

Technology shares climbed in the afternoon, pushing the Nasdaq higher. Amazon gained nearly 4%, while Tesla rose more than 4%. Apple and Alphabet each gained more than 1%. 

Oil slipped as traders awaited US supply data and an OPEC+ meeting on Wednesday. West Texas Intermediate crude fell as much as 1.8%, to $42.11 per barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, declined 1.3%, to $44.76 per barrel, at intraday lows.

Read more: Michael Venuto’s firm provides unique ETFs that have returned as much as 60% for investors this year. He breaks down his process — and shares the ‘anomaly’ investors need to watch today.

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