Wall Street climbs again

The Dow has moved into positive territory after a quiet morning in New York, boosted by strong earnings from index component Home Depot.

It’s been a promising follow-up session today after yesterday’s big gains, with the Dow Jones and S&P 500 both rising, the latter hovering around 10 points from its all-time high, freshly set on Monday.

By early afternoon in New York, the Dow was up 0.22% at 16,242 and the S&P had risen 0.12% to 1848.9. Home improvement retailer and Dow component Home Depot reported fourth-quarter earnings of 73 cents per share, beating forecasts of 71 cents per share and also announced a 21% increase in its quarterly dividend, which helped lift the company’s share price 3%.

Home Depot has benefitted from the US housing recovery these last few years and two reports today show house prices continue to rise, albeit at a slower pace. The FHFA said home prices advanced 0.8% in December and Case-Shiller’s 20-city home price index  rose the same amount on a seasonally-adjusted basis.

Macro data has on the whole disappointed again today, though, with consumer confidence dipping in February to 78.1 from January’s 79.4., while the Richmond Fed reported a decline in manufacturing activity in its regional survey. 

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