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US markets end marginally higher on Tuesday

The US markets ended marginally higher on Tuesday with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq finishing at records for a third consecutive session after a measure of consumer confidence hit a nearly 18-year high, underscoring a continued expansion of the US economy. A report released by the Conference Board showed an unexpected improvement in US consumer confidence in the month of August. The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index surged up to 133.4 in August from an upwardly revised 127.9 in July. Street had expected the index to dip to 126.8 from the 127.4 originally reported for the previous month. With the unexpected increase, the consumer confidence index reached its highest level since hitting 135.8 in October of 2000. These historically high confidence levels should continue to support healthy consumer spending in the near-term. Besides, the gains came a day after investors cheered a report that proposed trade deal between the US and Mexico.

However, the gains were muted, with indexes closing off of intraday peaks. Some cautiousness prevailed in markets with Standard & Poor's report that home price growth in major US metropolitan areas unexpectedly slowing in the month of June. The report said the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index was up by 6.3% year-over-year in June compared to the 6.5% increase in May. Street had expected the pace of price growth to remain unchanged.

Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 14.38 points or 0.06 percent to 26064.02, the S&P 500 added 0.78 points or 0.03 percent to 2897.52 and Nasdaq was up by 12.14 points or 0.15 percent to 8030.04.

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