landsberg bennettStocks extended gains Tuesday. The Dow climbed 8 points to 25,891 while the S&P 500 added 4 points to 2,779. The Nasdaq Composite gained 14 points to 7,486.

The major averages edged higher as investors assessed the latest corporate earnings releases. Trade relations remained in focus as the U.S. and China continued negotiations in Washington D.C. An update from President Trump suggested he may extend the March 1st deadline if talks remain productive. On the data front, the lone economic report showed homebuilder sentiment improved for the second consecutive month in February. Monetary policy will garner attention this week with the Federal Reserve scheduled to publish the minutes from its January meeting tomorrow afternoon.

Nine of 11 S&P 500 sectors finished in positive territory with the Healthcare and Industrial groups the laggards. Consumer Staples outperformed as Walmart advanced 2.2% to $102.20 after the retail giant posted its strongest holiday quarter in more than a decade. Materials also finished broadly higher led by miner Freeport-McMoRan jumping 6.6% to $13.09 as a positive outlook on copper prices triggered an analyst upgrade of the company.

Breadth was positive on issues by roughly 9:5 on the NYSE and by 8:5 on the Nasdaq. Composite NYSE Volume totaled more than 3.4 billion shares.

Treasuries were stronger with the yield on the 10-year note down two basis points to 2.64%. In commodities, WTI crude added 0.9% to $56.08/barrel. COMEX gold advanced 1.6% to $1,338.70/ounce, the highest level in ten months, amid a weaker dollar.