By Noel Randewich
(Reuters) - The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a record high on Tuesday, helped by a surge in Wal-Mart Stores, while Amazon and Facebook lost ground and investors focused on upcoming quarterly reports.
Wal-Mart <WMT.N> jumped 4.47 percent to a two-year high after forecasting U.S. online sales would rise by about 40 percent in the next fiscal year and unveiling a $20-billion share buyback.
That helped the S&P 500 consumer staples index <.SPLRCS> jump 0.99 percent, although gains in that sector were limited by P&G <PG.N>, which dropped 0.54 percent after activist investor Nelson Peltz unexpectedly failed in his bid to win a board seat.
Third-quarter corporate reporting season kicks into high gear on Thursday with results from JPMorgan Chase <JPM.N> and Citigroup <C.N>. With the S&P 500 up 14 percent in 2017, investors are betting on strong earnings growth across the S&P 500.
Wall Street has mostly shrugged off recent saber-rattling between the United States and North Korea, as well as a lack of progress by President Donald Trump in delivering promised corporate tax cuts.
"The only fear in this market is the fear of missing out," said Dennis Dick, a proprietary trader at Bright Trading LLC in Las Vegas. "But things can change quickly. There's stuff out there, like North Korea. You still have to be cautious."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 0.31 percent to 22,830.68 points, a record-high close. It is up 15.5 percent in 2017.
The S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 0.23 percent to 2,550.64 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 0.11 percent to 6,587.25.
The tech index <.SPLRCT>, the best performing among the 11 major S&P sectors this year, was mostly unchanged, with Facebook falling 0.53 percent and Nvidia <NVDA.O> adding 1.91 percent after unveiling chips for autonomous vehicles, bringing its gain over the past year to 182 percent.
American Airlines <AAL.O> jumped 4.80 percent and United Continental <UAL.N> soared 4.67 percent after the two airlines gave encouraging third-quarter forecasts. Delta <DAL.N>, which reports on Wednesday, rose 1.85 percent.
Energy stocks <.SPNY> got a boost from a near 2-percent rise in oil prices supported by Saudi Arabian export cuts in November and comments from OPEC and trading companies that the market is rebalancing after years of oversupply.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.90-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.58-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
About 5.6 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, well below the 6.1 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters data.
(Additional reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Nick Zieminski)