Stocks end higher, lifted by Wal-Mart and airlines

Wednesday, 11 October 2017, 03:01:17 PM. A big jump for Wal-Mart helped the Dow Jones industrial average reach a record high Tuesday, and gains for other retailers and airlines lifted other stock indexes as well. Airlines rose after American and United issued strong forecasts. Utilities and smaller companies also climbed. Banks edged up.
A big jump for Wal-Mart helped the Dow Jones industrial average reach a record high Tuesday, and gains for other retailers and airlines lifted other stock indexes as well. Airlines rose after American and United issued strong forecasts. Utilities and smaller companies also climbed. Banks edged up as investors prepared for the financial sector to start reporting its third-quarter results in a few days. Wal-Mart notched its biggest gain in almost a year and a half after it forecast strong growth in digital sales. Wal-Mart has invested billions of dollars in its e-commerce business in recent years. Katie Nixon, chief investment officer for Northern Trust Wealth Management, said Wal-Mart's online business is key to its survival, so investors were glad to see signs of success. “There's very little retail loyalty now,” she said. “Consumers just want choice, price and convenience.” The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 5.91 points, or 0.2%, to 2,550.64. The Dow Jones industrial average advanced 69.61 points, or 0.3%, to 22,830.68. Wal-Mart was responsible for almost half of that gain. The Nasdaq composite ticked up 7.52 points, or 0.1%, to 6,587.25. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 4.44 points, or 0.3%, to 1,508.01. Wal-Mart Stores jumped 4.5% to $84.13 after the retail giant said that it expects its digital sales to rise 40% in its next fiscal year and that it plans to buy back $20 billion in stock over two years. Target rose 2.4% to $57.60. Amazon declined...Read more
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