Stocks Edged Up to Record Levels

U.S. stocks finished essentially flat on Tuesday, with the Dow and S&P 500 posting a fifth session of record closing highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.16 points, or 0.01%, to 17,614.90. The S&P 500 added 1.42 points, or 0.07%, to 2,039.68. The Nasdaq Composite rose 8.94 points, or 0.19%, to 4,660.56.

Many U.S. home buyers are returning to the market after almost a year as interest rates stabilize and regulators propose more relaxed rules on mortgage lending. U.S. homebuilders D.R. Horton Inc and Toll Brothers Inc reported jumps in orders this week at rates not seen since last year.

E-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) reported more than $9 billion in sales on China’s Singles’ Day on
Tuesday, illustrating the buying power of the Chinese consumer and the importance of the event in the retail calendar.

Fossil Group Inc. (FOSL) reported better-than-expected third-quarter profit and sales. Fossil said it had net income of $103.7 million, or $1.96 a share, in the quarter, up from $89.7 million, or $1.58 a share, in the year-earlier period. Sales rose to $894.5 million from $810.4 million. The company sees profit of $2.91 to $3.21 a share in the fourth quarter
and $7 to $7.30 a share for the year.

Shares of Zoetis Inc. (ZTS) rallied Tuesday following a report that activist investor Bill Ackman has acquired a 10% stake
in the animal-health products company.

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