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U.S. Stocks Bounce Back as Dow Hits New Highs

Dow Jones Industrial Average adds triple digits en route to new record.

U.S. stocks advanced Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) setting fresh records after upbeat corporate earnings.

The blue-chip index climbed 167.80 points, or 0.7%, to close at 23,441.76. The Dow’s gains were powered by strong quarterly earnings from heavy-machinery manufacturer Caterpillar Inc. Meanwhile, fellow Dow component 3M Co soared nearly 6% after its quarterly earnings call.

The large-cap S&P 500 Index (NYSEARCA:SPY) rose 0.2% to 2,569.13, with seven of 11 sectors registering gains.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index (NYSEARCA:QQQ) also climbed 0.2% to 5,698.43.

Despite the gains, a measure of 30-day volatility known as the CBOE VIX (NYSEARCA:VXX) was little changed on Tuesday. The fear index closed up 0.8% at 11.16, the highest since early September. Volatility rose double-digit percentages on Monday as equities veered off record highs.

On the commodity front, crude prices rose sharply after the Trump administration announced the biggest oil and gas lease sale in the nation’s history. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures rose 56 cents, or 1.1%, to $52.46 a barrel. That was the highest level in six months. Brent crude futures rose 98 cents, or 1.7%, to $58.35 a barrel.

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The U.S. economy shifted into higher gear in October,with services and manufacturing activity rising faster than forecast. The flash Markit Composite purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 55.9 in October from 55.3 the previous month. A PMI above 50 signals expansion in economic activity, whereas a reading below that level denotes contraction.

The Final Word: Strong earnings continue to underpin the equities rally. U.S. stocks are poised to continue down the path of record-setting gains as the holiday season approaches.