By Paul J. Davies and Michael Wursthorn 

U.S. stocks drifted higher Tuesday, as rising shares of consumer companies and real-estate firms nudged all three major indexes toward a new set of records.

Shares of Best Buy led the S&P 500 higher after the consumer-electronics retailer boosted its forecast for the crucial holiday-shopping season and reported a solid sales gain for the previous quarter. The optimistic tone for the final month of the year helped boost shares of several other retailers, including TJX Cos., Ulta Beauty and Home Depot.

Real-estate stocks added to the stock market's gains, with those stocks in the S&P 500 advancing 1%.

Incremental developments on the U.S.'s trade talks with China also brightened investors' near-term outlooks to keep the stock market moving higher. Chinese officials said Tuesday that they had reached a consensus with their U.S. counterparts on resolving certain problems, suggesting the two sides are making progress toward a "phase one" deal.

Still, analysts urged investors to remain cautious. Trade headlines have sent stock indexes on a roller coaster this year, and that volatility is likely to play out further until the U.S. and China actually sign a deal.

"While top officials on both sides have sounded positive, potential barriers to a broad agreement remain," strategists at UBS Global Wealth Management wrote in a note to clients Tuesday, pointing to the fact that the U.S. and China still haven't set a deadline for signing a deal and whether it would delay tariffs scheduled to take effect next month.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 37 points, or 0.1%, to 28104 in recent trading. The S&P 500 rose 0.1%, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.2%.

Best Buy shares jumped 11%, more than any other stock in the broad S&P 500 index, after the retailer slightly increased its targets for sales and profit for the fiscal year and disclosed plans to compete with Amazon.com this holiday-shopping season.

Shares of Hormel Foods also rose after it reported better-than-expected earnings despite missing sales forecasts. The food maker's stock gained 3.8%.

Meanwhile, a couple of disappointing profit reports somewhat hindered the S&P 500's advance.

Shares of Dollar Tree slid 14% after the owner of the Dollar Tree and Family Dollar chains of discount stores lowered its earnings guidance for the year, due, in part, to the anticipated impact of tariffs on goods imported from China.

Also hobbling major indexes' advance was a pullback in shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. The tech company's stock stumbled 8.7% after it reported a bigger-than-expected decline in revenue for the most recent quarter.

Elsewhere, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.1%. The Shanghai Composite Index closed almost flat, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slipped 0.3%.

Write to Paul J. Davies at paul.davies@wsj.com and Michael Wursthorn at Michael.Wursthorn@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 26, 2019 14:43 ET (19:43 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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