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Luxury retailers, technology companies push stocks higher

Specialist Anthony Rinaldi, left, and trader Michael Conlon

Specialist Anthony Rinaldi, left, and trader Michael Conlon work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.  Photo Credit: AP/Richard Drew

Technology companies helped lead stocks broadly higher on Wall Street Tuesday as strong earnings reports from several companies put investors in a buying mood.

The rally, which briefly wavered around midday, extended the benchmark S&P 500 index's winning streak to five days.

Technology stocks, which have lagged the market in recent months, accounted for much of the rally. Financial sector companies were among the biggest laggards. Investors welcomed the latest batch of solid earnings reports from a range of U.S. companies, including luxury retailers Ralph Lauren and Estee Lauder, and media companies Viacom and Walt Disney.

Halfway through the fourth-quarter earnings reporting season for U.S. companies, the results have come in broadly ahead of analysts' forecasts. However, that growth is expected to slow in the months ahead.

"Big companies reported some really good results today," said Lindsey Bell, an investment strategist at CFRA. "While the overall earnings season isn't all that impressive versus the past four quarters, it's still a pretty decent quarter."

Technology stocks helped power the market's gains. Apple added 1.7 percent to $174.18, while Microsoft climbed 1.4 percent to $107.22. Investors continued to focus on corporate earnings, seeking clues to how companies gauge their prospects for higher profits amid signs of weaker global growth and uncertainty over the U.S.-China trade dispute.

The S&P 500 index rose 0.5 percent to 2,737.70. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 172.15 points, or 0.7 percent, to 25,411.52. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite added 0.7 percent, to 7,402.08.


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