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US: Stocks add to records, joining global rally

[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks pushed higher Tuesday, joining most global bourses in rallying ahead of fourth-quarter earnings season.

The aggressive buying that opened the new year appeared to be ebbing on Monday, and the Dow fell for the first time in 2018. But equity markets in London, Paris, Frankfurt and Tokyo all rose Tuesday.

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had risen to 25,352.59, up 0.3 per cent and more than retracing the loss seen in the prior session.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.2 per cent to 2,752.85, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.1 per cent to 7,162.55, which puts those indexes on track for records for the sixth straight day.

The rally has been fed by strengthening global economic data and expectations for higher US corporate earnings after President Donald Trump signed a sweeping US tax cut into law in December.

But analysts say stocks could falter if big US companies signal the tax cut will not lift earnings as much as expected.

Target gained 2.4 per cent after announcing that comparable sales in the key November-December period rose 3.4 per cent, better than the expected range of zero to two per cent.