S&P gets lift from retail data

The S&P 500 rose but ended just shy of a record closing high Tuesday. A rosy report on consumer spending and Home Depot’s strong earnings put investors in a cheerful mood about the upcoming holiday season. They went shopping for cyclical stocks like Lowe’s and Ulta Beauty.

The Dow edged up nearly two-tenths percent while the S&P added four-tenth percent and the Nasdaq gained three-quarter percent.

But Vespula Capital CEO Jeff Tomasulo questions whether Wall Street can extend the upswing much further.

“It is a strong time of year to buy stocks, and I think the combination of the economic, the economic part of it, and that seasonality and that we just had a little bit of a sell off. People were coming in and looking to to buy some stock today. The question is, ‘Can it hold up?’”

Home Depot was the Dow’s biggest gainer, closing at a record high. The home improvement chain’s quarterly sales topped estimates by nearly $2 billion.

Walmart raised its annual sales and profit forecast. But shares of the big box retailer fell as supply chain woes dented its margins.

One bit of uncertainty weighing on the markets will soon be lifted: President Joe Biden said he’ll make a final decision in about four days on whom he’ll name to chair the Federal Reserve. He’s said to be weighing whether to keep Jerome Powell or promote Fed Governor Lael Brainard to the post.

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