Home Depot and retail sales data boost US stocks

US stocks closed higher on Tuesday as earnings from Home Depot and retail sales data signalled solid consumer health and eased worries about a Federal Reserve that may have to become more aggressive in the face of rising inflation.

Data showed retail sales jumped 1.7 percent in October, the largest gain since March and above the 1.4 percent estimate, indicating Americans have begun holiday shopping early in an effort to avoid a shortage of goods amid stretched supply chains.

Retailer Home Depot jumped 5.73 percent to close at a record high and had its biggest one-day percentage gain since April 2020 after beating quarterly sales estimates by nearly US$2 billion and handily topping the earnings per share view.

“This does give people a sigh of relief that the retail outlook is still pretty rosy,” said Brian Jacobsen, senior investment strategist at Allspring Global Investments in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.

“The outlook is one where prices are rising but consumer spending is still strong and it looks like the supply chains are stressed but still we’re able to get goods on the shelves.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.15 percent, to 36,142, the S&P 500 gained 0.39 percent, to 4,701 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.76 percent, to 15,974. (Reuters)