Overnight Markets: Tech shares lead Dow to another record high

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The Dow Jones edged up to its ninth record closing high in a row on Monday, while the S&P 500 ended slightly higher, led by gains in technology and consumer-focused companies.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 26 points, or 0.12%, to close at 22,118. The S&P 500 climbed four points, or 0.16%, to 2,481 and the Nasdaq Composite added 32 points, or 0.51%, to end at 6,384.

Robust second-quarter earnings have boosted the broader market in recent weeks and a strong July employment report on Friday added to positive sentiment.

However, trading volume was relatively light yesterday as investors had little reason to make big bets with the US Congress and President Donald Trump on vacation and a stronger-than-expected earnings season drawing to a close.

The S&P’s consumer staples index, up 0.7%, and its technology index, up 0.6% were the benchmark’s leading sectors on the day.

In coming days, investors will scrutinize quarterly results from retailers in light of competition from online retailer Amazon.com.

Wal-Mart (WMT.N) shares were up nearly 1%. Tyson Foods (TSN.N) rose 5.7% after the No. 1 US meat processor reported greater-than-expected quarterly profit and sales. Apple rose 1.4%.

The energy sector led the laggards with a 0.9% decline as oil prices edged lower on a rebound in production from Libya’s largest oil field, along with worries about higher output from OPEC and the US.

In deal news, medical device company NxStage Medical jumped 28.2% after it agreed to be bought by Fresenius Medical Care.

In Asia, shares reversed gains made earlier on Tuesday as investors digested the release of China July trade data during the session.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 0.31% while South Korea’s benchmark Kospi index erased earlier gains to slide 0.3%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.82%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index declined 0.15%. Indexes on the mainland were mixed following the release of July trade numbers. The Shanghai Composite was off 0.12% and the Shenzhen Composite slid 0.08%.

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