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U.S. markets draw near records behind strong consumer data

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U.S. markets draw near records behind strong consumer data
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite drew within 1% of their record highs as U.S. markets rose behind strong October consumer data. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 16 (UPI) -- U.S. markets drew near records as stocks rose on Tuesday in response to positive consumer data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the day up 54.77 points, or 0.15%, while the S&P 500 gained 0.39% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 0.76%.

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Following Tuesday's gains, the Dow was 1.4% away from a record high while the S&P and Nasdaq were both within 1% of theirs.

Markets got a boost after the Commerce Department reported that retail sales increased by $638.2 billion, or 1.7%, from September to October despite rising prices, indicating that higher inflation isn't deterring some shoppers.

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Home Depot stock rose 5.73% after it reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings and net sales increased 9.8%, while adding that fourth-quarter sales were already on track to be higher than the prior quarter.

Walmart also reported third-quarter profit revenue that exceeded estimates while U.S. same-store sales increased 9.2%, excluding fuel. However, shares fell 2.55% as digital sales grew 8%, falling well short of Wall Street expectations of 20.5%.

Meanwhile, Lowes stock rose 4.2% and Target stock gained 1.1%.

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"With the robust retail sales read and solid start to retail earnings, it's crystal clear that inflation isn't standing in the way of consumers," E-Trade's Mike Lowengart said. "Despite some hiccups on the labor market and inflation fronts, this could serve as the vote of confidence investors needed signaling that the company is still chugging along nicely. As we narrow in on the holiday shopping season, the question remains if better than expected numbers from retailers from Q3 can continue to close out 2021."

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Shares of Tesla gained 4.08%, recovering after CEO Elon Musk sold millions of dollars worth of stock.

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