Tuesday, August 23, 2016
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Market Digest Online WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 24, 2016: U.S. stocks closed on Tuesday, with materials gaining about 1% as investors looked ahead to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's speech at the end of the week. The Dow Jones industrial average briefly gained 100 points in early trade, but lost most of its steam and closed about 20 points higher. Nike contributed the most gains on the Dow. The S&P posted its 32nd straight session without a 1 percent move on a closing basis on Tuesday. Still, the three major indexes have managed to post record highs recently.

On the data front, new home sales for July unexpectedly surged, reaching their highest level in almost nine years. Other data released Tuesday included the Markit Manufacturing PMI for August, which came in at 52.1.

Investors were also preparing for Yellen's speech, due Friday at 11 a.m. "So far the chances are more or less half and half that the Fed may take another stab at the interest rate. It may be safe to say that traders are somewhat prepared for this, therefore it will be no big surprise if the Fed does increase the interest rate this year," Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Think Markets, said in a Tuesday note to clients.

Market expectations for a September rate hike were only 18 percent Tuesday, according to the CME Group's FedWatch tool. "Depending on the tone of her speech, that could change drastically," JMP's Wright said. "I think the market will be range-bound until then."

Investors also digested quarterly results from Best Buy and Toll Brothers, among other firms. Best Buy shares soared 19.6 percent after beating expectations on both earnings and revenue. Toll Brothers' stock gained about 8.8 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed 17.88 points higher, or 0.1 percent, at 18,547.3, with Nike leading advancers and Wal-Mart the greatest decliner. The S&P 500 gained 4.26 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,186.9, with materials leading eight sectors higher, while consumer staples and utilities lagged. The Nasdaq advanced 15.47 points, or 0.3 percent, to 5,260.08.

About two stocks advanced for every decliner at the New York Stock Exchange, with an exchange volume of 721.6 million and a composite volume of 2.983 billion at the close. Gold futures for December delivery rose $2.70 to settle at $1,346.10 per ounce.

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