10-3-17 4:36 PM EDT | Email Article

By Anneken Tappe and Ryan Vlastelica

Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq Composite (and Russell 2000) register all-time highs

U.S. stock benchmarks booked another round of records on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 notching its sixth positive session in a row, as the market took its cues from upbeat data, including reports on vehicle sales.

What stock benchmarks are doing

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished 84.07 points, or 0.4%, higher at 22,641.47, marking its fifth daily gain in a row. The S&P 500 rose 5.46 points to 2,534.58, an increase of 0.2%, in its longest string of gains since a six-session advance that ended Sept. 1.

The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 15 points, or 0.2%, to 6,531.71, making Tuesday its sixth gain in a row.

The Russell 2000 Index , meanwhile, closed at an all-time peak for a second day in a row with a gain of 2.49 points, or 0.2%, to 1,511.97, after trading the small-cap index traded in fits and starts throughout the session. The index of small companies has trounced its larger-benchmark peers over the past 30 days, up nearly 7%, compared with a 3% rise for the Dow and a 2.3% gain for the S&P in that same period.

What was driving markets?

Stocks have been supported by some strong economic data, including the recent ISM manufacturing survey (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/key-yardstick-of-us-manufacturers-touches-highest-level-since-2004-ism-finds-2017-10-02) for September, as well as hopes for tax-cut legislation. However, there are lingering concerns that the market's record advance--the S&P is up 13.2% year to date, the Dow is on track for a nearly 15% return thus far this year, while the Nasdaq has gained more than 21%--has been overdone. That's especially as the Federal Reserve increases borrowing costs.

What are strategists saying?

Which stocks are in focus?

Shares in MGM Resorts International(MGM) closed 0.3% higher after falling 5.6% Monday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/mgm-resorts-stock-falls-5-premarket-after-mandalay-bay-shooting-2017-10-02) in the wake of the mass shooting at the company's Mandalay Bay property in Las Vegas.

Home builder Lennar Corp. (LEN) rose 4.8% after better-than-anticipated quarterly results (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/lennars-stock-set-for-rally-after-profit-and-sales-beat-expectations-2017-10-03).

See:Las Vegas shooter Paddock had 42 guns and a 'bump stock' (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/las-vegas-shooter-paddock-had-42-guns-and-a-device-enabling-firing-at-an-automatic-rate-2017-10-03)

Gun-maker stocks such as Smith & Wesson parent American Outdoor Brands Corp.(AOBC) and Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. (RGR) also could see another active session after rallying Monday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gun-maker-stocks-surge-after-mass-shooting-in-las-vegas-2017-10-02). They often gain when traders think stricter regulations are coming, as sales can get a lift ahead of any change. Shares of American Outdoor gained 2.4% and Sturm's shares closed 2.2% higher.

What are the data saying?

Major auto makers posted better-than-expected sales gains in September amid heavier consumer discounts and demand to replace hurricane-damaged vehicles, giving the industry relief from a protracted period of (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gm-ford-toyota-post-sharp-sept-sales-gains-2017-10-03-144851637)declining results.

General Motors Co.(GM) rose 3.1% after it reported U.S. sales growth of 12% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gms-stock-shoots-up-to-record-high-after-september-sales-report-2017-10-03), with the stock hitting a record in early trading.

Ford Motor Co.(F) was up 2.1% after it posted sales growth of 8.7%. The auto maker was also in focus as new CEO Jim Hackett is due to provide an update on the company's progress (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-ford-chief-says-ready-to-tinker-under-the-hood-2017-09-30) at an investor meeting.

Fiat Chrysler's (FCA.MI) September numbers fell by 10% year-over-year (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fiat-chryslers-us-september-sales-fall-with-sharp-declines-in-jeep-chrysler-and-dodge-brand-sales-2017-10-03), thanks to declines in its Jeep, Chrysler and Dodge brands. Its shares last traded slightly weaker, down 0.3% from yesterday.

Shares in Tesla Inc.(TSLA) pared previous losses and rose 1.9%. Late Monday, news came that third-quarter production for the electric car maker's Model 3 sedan was lower than anticipated, due to manufacturing bottlenecks (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tesla-model-3-hit-by-production-bottleneck-that-slowed-initial-deliveries-2017-10-02), causing Tesla's shares to take a dive.

Check out:MarketWatch's Economic Calendar (http://www.marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic)

What other assets are doing

European stock markets (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-pause-for-breath-after-8-day-winning-run-2017-10-03) traded higher on Tuesday, adding on from an eight-day winning streak. Asian equity markets largely closed higher (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/hang-seng-nikkei-lead-market-gains-in-asia-2017-10-02), though some bourses remained closed for holidays.

Oil futures settled at a two-week low, (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-slips-further-on-concerns-about-higher-supply-2017-10-03) while gold futures booked their third straight decline (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-extends-retreat-as-bond-yields-stocks-rise-2017-10-03), as the ICE U.S. Dollar Index was little changed (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-holds-ground-at-six-week-highs-2017-10-03).

--Victor Reklaitis contributed to this article


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 03, 2017 16:36 ET (20:36 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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