Walmart Earnings Propel Stocks Higher; Crypto Market Cap Hits $135 Billion

U.S. stocks extended their rally on Tuesday, as a positive earnings surprise from Walmart Stores Inc. (WMT) propelled the major indexes higher. Cryptocurrencies maintained their upward edge with EOS, Stellar and Binance Coin leading the gainers.

Relief Rally Continues

The major indexes overcame a tepid start to finish sharply higher on Tuesday. The broad S&P 500 Index rose 0.2% to 2,779.76, its seventh gain in the past eight sessions. Eight of 11 primary sectors finished in positive territory, led by materials. Consumer stocks also outperformed.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gave up most of its gains to finish only moderately higher. The index closed at 25,891.32, having gained 8.07 points, or 0.03%.

Shares of Walmart Stores rose 2.2% after the retail giant reported better than expected quarterly results. For its fiscal fourth quarter, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company reported per-share earnings of $1.41 on sales of $133.79 billion. Both figures topped analysts’ median estimate.

Steady performances for information technology and communication stocks lifted the Nasdaq Composite Index to higher ground. The tech-heavy benchmark climbed 0.2% to 7,486.77.

The Dow extended its winning streak to eight weeks on Friday. Read more: Stocks Surge on U.S.-China Trade Optimism; Dow Notches Eighth Consecutive Weekly Gain.

U.S.-China Trade Talks Resume

China’s trade envoy has arrived in Washington to resume high-stakes negotiations with the Trump administration this week. Both the U.S. and China are upping the ante ahead of a self-imposed trade-deal deadline on Mar. 1. President Trump says he may let the deadline “slide” if both sides make progress toward a new deal.

The latest round of talks between the U.S. and China wrapped up on Friday in Beijing. The White House said the two-day meeting was “detailed and intensive.”

“Both sides will continue working on all outstanding issues in advance of the March 1, 2019, deadline for an increase in the 10 percent tariff on certain imported Chinese goods,” the White House said Friday in a statement.

Return of the Crypto Bulls?

Crypto markets flashed green on Tuesday, as bitcoin clawed back above $4,000 for the first time since early January. The largest cryptocurrency by market cap and trading volume reached a session high of $4,083.50 on Bitfinex. To negate the downtrend, bitcoin’s price must cross above $4,200.

In terms of percentage gains, Binance Coin was the best-performing major on Tuesday. It rose 12.7% to $10.88, where it held firm to tenth spot on the market-cap index.

EOS climbed 5.5% to $3.66. Stellar Lumens advanced 12.7% to reach $0.0912.

At the time of writing, the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is $135.5 billion. Trade volumes have surged to $33.9 billion, with all major exchanges reporting a significant increase in turnover since Sunday.

Read more: Crypto Markets are Up $16 Billion Since Sunday; What’s Behind the Rally?

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi