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Stock Market Today: S&P 500 in Record-Marking Zone as Chipotle, Comcast Boost Profits


NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks moved back into record-making territory on Tuesday as positive earnings overshadowed continued unease in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Boosting the index, Chipotle (CMG), Comcast (CMCSA) and Verizon (VZ) gained following better-than-expected earnings reports.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.36% to 17,113.54. The S&P 500 was up 0.5% to 1,983.53. The Nasdaq gained 0.71% to 4,456.02.

In international news, the remains of the 298 victims of the Malaysian Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine have been moved into government territory, while pro-Russian rebels, accused of downing the jet, have surrendered the black box recording to Malaysian authorities. The moves have calmed market anxieties somewhat.

Separately, no progress toward peace has been made along the Gaza Strip as Israel said no ceasefire was close in a conflict which has amassed a death toll of 600 in little over two weeks. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is currently meeting with U.S. and U.N. officials, including U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, in Egypt.

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Stock Market Today: Markets Recover From Session Lows, Geopolitical Wariness Remains

U.S. stock markets closed lower Monday but recovered from deep losses suffered over the morning session, a product of geopolitical tensions in Ukraine and the Gaza Strip pulling markets lower.

While bulls continue to point to the resiliency of U.S. stocks as the S&P 500 persistently makes new highs, short-term bears such as Michael Pento, president and founder of Pento Portfolio Strategies, are expecting the long-awaited correction to be triggered finally by the fourth quarter. A correction is defined as a reversal of 10% or more.

"The ending of QE in October should produce a selloff in the magnitude of 20% plus," Pento forecast. "QE1 one ended with a 13% drop and QE2 ended with a 17% drop in the S&P 500. I don't see why it would be different this time around."

Comcast kicked off a busy day for earnings, reporting net income of 75 cents a share, 3 cents higher than estimates, and revenue 3.5% higher year over year to $16.84 billion. Shares gained 1.5% to $54.63.

Verizon added 0.55% to $50.98 after beating earnings expectations of 90 cents a share by a penny. Revenue jumped 5.7% to $31.5 billion.

Chipotle, which reported Monday evening, earned $3.50 a share, 41 cents higher than forecasts, and generated revenue 29% higher to $1.05 billion. Shares closed 11.8% higher to $659.77.

Coca-Cola (KO) was among those who missed estimates after net income declined by 3% to $2.6 billion and revenue dipped 1% to a less-than-expected $12.57 billion. Shares dropped 2.9% to $41.19.

McDonald's (MCD), still embroiled in a food scare affecting China operations, was down 1.3% to $96.27 after missing earnings estimates by 4 cents at $1.40 a share. U.S. same-store sales declined. TheStreet's Julia Sun has details on McDonald's quarterly report:

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Netflix  (NFLX) also disappointed Wall Street after second-quarter profit of $1.15 a share missed by a penny. Shares are falling 5.5% to $427.15.

After the bell, Microsoft  (MSFT) reported net income of 55 cents a share, 6 cents less than estimates. Apple  (AAPL) is due to report earnings shortly.

Herbalife (HLF) shares surged 25.5% to $67.77. Earlier, Pershing Squares' Bill Ackman doubled-down on his claims the health and nutrition company engages in misleading business practices, including an alleged pyramid scheme-style of sales.

In economic news, the headline consumer price index increased by another 0.3% in June, the third consecutive month of at least 0.3% readings, keeping some investors on the lookout for the beginning of bigger-than-expected interest rates hikes in March. The FHFA purchase-only House Price Index rose 0.4% in May, though the pace of appreciation appears to be slowing; the FHFA index is now up 5.5% year over year but down from the 8.5% peak recorded last July.

U.S. home resales spiked in the second quarter with sales of existing homes gaining 2.6% in June to 5.04 million, higher than estimates of 4.99 million. June growth was at its fast pace in eight months.

-- Written by Andrea Tse and Keris Alison Lahiff in New York

Follow @AndreaTTse

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