The US markets closed higher on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 notching its sixth positive session in a row, as the market took its cues from upbeat data, including reports on vehicle sales. Stocks have been supported by some strong economic data, including the recent ISM manufacturing survey for September, as well as hopes for tax-cut legislation. However, there are lingering concerns that the market's record advance has been overdone. That's especially as the Federal Reserve increases borrowing costs. The dollar stepped back from a 1 1/2-month high against a basket of currencies, as the rally triggered by strong US data fizzled on speculation US President Donald Trump's choice for the next Fed Chair may be a less hawkish candidate than previously thought.
Meanwhile, major auto makers posted mostly solid sales gains in September amid heavier consumer discounts and surging demand to replace hurricane-damaged vehicles, giving the industry relief from months of declining results and some momentum heading into the key fourth-quarter selling season. General Motors Co. said US sales rose 12% last month compared with a year earlier to 279,397 vehicles. Ford Motor Co.'s sales rose 9% last month to 221,643 vehicles. Both GM and Ford reported sharply higher sales of pickup trucks and SUVs, their most profitable products. The results were lifted by an additional selling day versus September 2016, and both companies reported an increase in deliveries to fleet customers, a less-profitable business line than retail sales.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 84.07 points or 0.37 percent to 22,641.67, the Nasdaq gained 14.99 points or 0.23 percent to 6,531.71, and the S&P 500 edged higher by 5.46 points or 0.22 percent to 2,534.58.