Dow flirts with new record as earnings season kicks off

U.S. stocks traded mixed Tuesday morning, with the Dow nearing a record intraday high, as investors parse the first major earnings releases of the season.

What are major indexes doing?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.02% rose 18 points, or 0.1%, at 28,924, but the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.20% lost 4 points, or 0.1%, to trade at 3,284. The Nasdaq Composite index COMP, -0.39% lost 11 points, or 0.1%, to trade at 9,264.

The Dow on Tuesday rose 83.28 points, or 0.3%, to end at 28,907.05, 0.2% away from its record close of 28,956.90 set on Thursday. The S&P 500 rose 22.78 points, or 0.7%, to finish at 3,288.13, while the Nasdaq Composite  closed at 9,273.93, a gain of 95.07 points, or 1%. Monday’s closing levels marked the third record of the new year for the S&P 500 and the fourth for the Nasdaq.

What’s driving the market?

Wall Street’s big banks were giving earnings season its unofficial kickoff Tuesday, with fourth-quarter results reported ahead of the opening bell from JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM, +2.54%, Citigroup Inc. C, +2.25%  and Wells Fargo & Co. WFC, -2.81%.

JPMorgan and Citigroup both surpassed Wall Street expectations for profit and sales, sending shares 1.4% and 1.6% higher, respectively. J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon cited a healthy U.S. consumer a factor that helped it surpass forecasts, along with a stabilization of economic growth and easing trade tensions.

Wells Fargo, however, missed consensus forecasts for both profit and revenue, with performance dragged down in part by litigation costs, sending shares 4.2% lower.

According to FactSet, S&P 500 index company earnings are estimated to have declined 2.0% in the fourth quarter.

“We’re seeing a mixed bag of results from big banks to start earnings season with JPM and Citi coming in very strong but Wells

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