Health, tech stocks power S&P, Nasdaq to record highs



Wall Street extended gains on Tuesday as healthcare and technology stocks powered the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq to record highs.

The S&P 500, which marked its fourth all-time high this month, rose to 2,187.33, while the Nasdaq touched an all-time high of 5,235.93.

The S&P 500 index’s healthcare index .SPXHC rose 0.49 percent, helped by a 26 percent jump in Endo International (ENDP.O) and a 3 percent rise in Mylan (MYL.O).

The information technology index .SPLRCT rose 0.35 percent, lifted by a 7.4 percent rise in Charter Communications (CHTR.O) and a 0.6 rise in Amazon.com (AMZN.O).

“It has been an unloved rally, and one that has not been met by the infamous ‘animal spirit’,” said Eric Wiegand, senior portfolio manager at the Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank in New York.

“There is no euphoria that is accompanying this move higher. It has been very measured and somewhat technical in support.”

The S&P 500 closed 0.2 percent away from its all-time high on Monday and the Nasdaq closed 0.3 percent shy.

At 11:04 a.m. ET (15.04 GMT) on Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 49.2 points, or 0.27 percent, at 18,578.49.

The S&P 500 .SPX was up 5.76 points, or 0.26 percent, at 2,186.65.

The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 20.79 points, or 0.4 percent, at 5,233.93.

Nine of the 10 major S&P 500 indexes were higher, led by a 0.55 percent rise in the consumer staples .SPLRCS.

The only sector in the red was energy .SPNY which fell as oil prices reversed course in choppy trading. [O/R]

Valeant (VRX.N) jumped 16 percent after maintaining its full-year forecast and saying that it would reorganize its business.

Microchip Tech (MCHP.O) rose 8.1 percent to $61.24 after the company’s first-quarter revenue beat analysts’ estimate.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,707 to 1,116. On the Nasdaq, 1,540 issues rose and 1,073 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed 24 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 79 new highs and 13 new lows.

(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian)