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No end in sight for rally? Stocks up again

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The bulls are on a roll. Stocks rose again in early trading Tuesday, despite a lackluster report on retail sales.

The Dow Jones industrial average, S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were all up modestly. The gains were big enough to push the S&P 500 to another record high.

Retail sales slipped 0.1% in September. The decline was the first since March but was in line with expectations.

A separate report showed that home prices kept rising in August, with prices in 20 big cities climbing at a 12.8% annual rate, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index.

The Federal Reserve will also be in focus as the central bank kicks off its two-day policy meeting. A statement is due Wednesday afternoon. The Fed is widely expected to keep its stimulus measures in place, but investors will be looking for signs to determine when the Fed may begin scaling back, or tapering, its $85 billion monthly bond buying program.

Related: Fear & Greed Index still shows greed

Earnings still rolling in: Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) shares declined as investors worried about the company’s declining profit margins, despite quarterly sales and profit that handily beat Wall Street estimates.

Pfizer (PFE, Fortune 500) reported a decline in revenue and profit for the third quarter, but a 24% revenue surge in its cancer division. The drugmaker also lowered the top end of its guidance.

Nokia (NOK) reported flat sales and profit for the third quarter. But the Finnish tech company’s stock rose as investors welcomed a jump in smartphone sales. Nokia is in the process of selling its mobile device unit to Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500).

Baidu (BIDU) and LinkedIn (LNKD) are on tap to release results after the bell.

European markets were higher Tuesday, while Asian markets ended mixed. To top of page

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