U.S. stocks advanced modestly Tuesday, with the S&P 500 edging toward record territory, as investors parsed a fresh batch of corporate earnings for clues on the broader economy.
What are major indexes doing?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.11% rose 41 points, or 0.2%, to 26,425, while the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.07% gained 4 points, or 0.1%, to 2,909, putting the large cap index within striking distance of its all-time closing high of 2,930.75 set on Sept. 20. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.37% was up 33 points, or 0.4%, to 8,009. The tech-centric index is still more than 1% away from its record peak but is trading above the psychologically important 8,000-mark for the first time in six months.
What’s driving the market?
Investors are poring over earnings reports released early Tuesday, with Bank of America Corp. BAC, +0.39% following on the lead of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS, +1.29% and Citigroup Inc. C, +2.45% issuing earnings that failed to surpass low expectations analysts had for the bank in the first quarter.
Dow component UnitedHealth Group Inc. UNH, -5.50% initially rose after it beat revenue and profit expectations for the first quarter while boosting its full year outlook. But the stock quickly surrendered those gains on concerns over threats that new health care reform measures, like Medicare-for-all, could significantly hurt health insurance industry profits. The stock fell 5%.
Last Friday, presidential hopeful and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders called out United HealthCare CEO Steve Nelson by name in a tweet that linked to a Washington Post story on insurers working to pull Democrats away from Medicare-for-all.
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