The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closed at record highs on Tuesday in the first session of the new year as investors were optimistic that 2018 will bring more gains for the market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 104.79 points, or 0.42 percent, to 24,824.01, the S&P 500 gained 22.18 points, or 0.83 percent, to 2,695.79 and the Nasdaq Composite added 103.51 points, or 1.5 percent, to 7,006.90. “Our best guess is the first quarter or half of the year can be OK as a continuation of last year,” said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago. But, he said, there are risks ahead. “Valuations are still stretched, interest rates are still rising, and those will provide headwinds to the market at some point.”
The S&P consumer discretionary index was up 1.5 percent, helped by a gain in Amazon.com of 1.7 percent.
J.C. Penney, Nordstrom and Kohl’s climbed after a bullish Citigroup note on the retail sector detailed benefits from the corporate tax cuts. Energy shares were up even though oil prices dipped. Oil hovered near mid-2015 highs amid large anti-government rallies in major exporter Iran and ongoing supply cuts led by OPEC and Russia. The S&P energy index rose 1.8 percent.
Shares of casino operators Wynn Resorts and Melco Resorts & Entertainment were down after a report showed lower-than-expected rise in Macau gambling revenue in December.
Abbott Labs jumped 3 percent and hit an intraday record of $59.20 after two brokerages upgraded the company’s stock to “overweight.”
Shares of Allstate were down 2.7 percent on a brokerage downgrade.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.64-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.01-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
Canada’s main stock index rose to a record high on Tuesday, the first trading day of the year, as the recent rally in commodity prices boosted energy and gold mining shares, while marijuana producers also climbed. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index unofficially closed up 95.26 points, or 0.59 percent, at 16,304.39. Five of the index’s 10 main groups ended higher.