August 21, 2018 / 5:48 PM / a month ago

REFILE-US STOCKS-S&P hits record high, equals longest-ever bull run

(Corrects typo in headline)

* Toll Brothers strong quarterly results boost homebuilders

* TJX gains on strong sales, Coty sinks on rare sales miss

* Bank stocks rise ahead of Fed’s minutes on Wednesday

* Indexes up: Dow 0.45 pct, S&P 0.50 pct, Nasdaq 0.88 pct

* Small-cap Russell 2000 index hits record

By Shreyashi Sanyal

Aug 21 (Reuters) - The benchmark S&P 500 touched a record high on Tuesday and equaled its longest-ever bull-market run, as U.S. stocks rose on encouraging earnings reports and hopes that the United States and China could resolve their tariff dispute.

The S&P rose as much as 0.57 percent to a record high of 2,873.23 points, topping its previous record high of 2,872.87 on Jan. 26.

The index’s bull-market run is now 3,452 days old and, on Wednesday, will mark the longest such streak in history, at least for some market watchers.

Hopes that the United States and China could move closer to settling their trade differences helped the trade-sensitive S&P industrial sector climb 0.76 percent.

The S&P consumer discretionary index rose 1.15 percent, the most among the 11 major S&P sectors, as TJX rose on strong results and Toll Brothers’ encouraging quarterly report boost shares of homebuilders.

“Investors, overall seem more optimistic that the troubles with global trade may get resolved this week,” said Kate Warne, principal and investment strategist at Edward Jones in Des Peres, Missouri.

“We’ve seen a continuation of strong earnings and signs of stronger economic growth and you would expect investors to be confident in this kind of an environment and expect stocks to rise.”

At 13:22 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 115.99 points, or 0.45 percent, at 25,874.68, the S&P 500 was up 14.36 points, or 0.50 percent, at 2,871.41 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 68.72 points, or 0.88 percent, at 7,889.73.

The small-cap Russell 2000 index, which is more immune to the global tariff disputes than its large-cap peers, jumped 1.36 percent to a record high.

The energy sector, gained 1.17 percent as oil prices rose. The materials index rose 0.77 percent on higher metal prices .

Helping commodity prices was a drop in the dollar after President Donald Trump said he was “not thrilled” with the Federal Reserve for raising rates and that the central bank should do more to help him boost the economy.

The criticism came ahead of the release of the Fed’s minutes of its August policy meeting on Wednesday, which is expected to reaffirm its confidence the economy and commitment to future rate hikes, including one next month.

JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley were up between 1.2 percent and 1.4 percent.

Toll Brothers jumped 13.4 percent after reporting better-than-expected quarterly results, lifting other homebuilders. PulteGroup, Lennar and D.R. Horton rose between 4.4 percent and 5.1 percent.

Retailer TJX climbed 4.5 percent after topping quarterly comparable-store sales estimates and raising its full-year earnings forecast.

Coty tumbled 10.4 percent after the beauty products maker missed sales estimates for the first time in six quarters.

Online brokers Charles Schwab, E*Trade Financial and TD Ameritrade tumbled between 2.4 percent and 6.5 percent on JPMorgan’s plan to roll out a free digital brokerage service next week.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.16-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 2.98-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq. The S&P index recorded 41 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 148 new highs and 27 new lows. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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