Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
New York - AFP
US stocks set fresh records for the fifth straight session Tuesday, but just barely, amid holiday-dampened trade.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up a scant 1.16 point (0.01 percent) at 17,614.90, and the broad-market Standard & Poor's 500 edged up 1.42 (0.07 percent) to 2,039.68.
Both the Dow and the S&P had scored records in the prior four sessions.
The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite outpaced the other major benchmarks, rising 8.94 (0.19 percent) to 4,660.56.
Volume was light on the Veterans Day holiday; the bond market was closed.
"The US equity markets, seemingly lacking a catalyst, traded in a relatively tight range around the flatline before ultimately closing with minimal gains," said Charles Schwab in a market note.
Health-related stocks were strong performers. On the Dow, UnitedHealth Group led the blue chips with a nearly one percent gain, followed close behind by Merck.
Financials were under pressure. Dow members JPMorgan Chase dropped 0.9 percent and American Express shed 0.7 percent.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba reported $8 billion of goods were sold so far through its online payment arm Alipay in its first global Singles Day promotion on Tuesday, with more than three hours to go before the end of the promotion at midnight.
Shares in Alibaba, which completed the world's largest stock offering in September, tumbled 3.9 percent.
DR Horton, one of the largest US home builders, reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of $166.3 million that missed estimates, but higher revenues on stronger home prices. Shares jumped 2.2 percent.
Ford Motor advanced 2.6 percent after launching its new F-150 pickup truck, made with an aluminum alloy body and bed to improve fuel efficiency.
Zynga zoomed 10.9 percent after an upgrade from Jefferies. The social gaming company last week reported solid third-quarter earnings and strong growth in mobile bookings.