U.S. stocks inched higher on Tuesday, notching fresh record highs and extending their recent rally to five straight sessions. The Dow gained 31 points, while the S&P 500 finished just above the flat line. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.1%. Upbeat economic data updates, and continued optimism around the U.S. and China “phase one” trade deal bolstered risk sentiment.
On the data front, housing starts jumped 3.2% in November, while the prior month’s reading was upwardly revised to 4.5% from 3.8%. A separate update showed building permits unexpectedly climbed 1.4% in November to the highest level since 2007. Another report showed U.S. factory production rebounded 1.1% last month, the largest advance since early 2018. Separately, the Jobs Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) revealed job openings increased to 7.2 million in October. Treasuries was little changed along the curve, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year note holding steady at 1.88%. In commodities, WTI crude gained 1.2% to $60.90/barrel, the highest in three months.
In corporate news, Netflix climbed 4.1% following reports of accelerating growth in its Asia-Pacific segment. Elsewhere, consumer goods giant Unilever fell 6.9% after issuing a profit warning. In earnings, Navistar International slumped 10.6% after the truck maker missed consensus revenue forecasts amid decreased demand and constraints in supplier production.
Investors also kept tabs on geopolitical developments across the pond. Reports suggested that U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson could use his newly won Parliamentary majority to prevent any extension to the post-Brexit transition period, thus renewing concerns of a no-deal Brexit.