Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher Tuesday, coming off its eighth straight weekly gain. The Nasdaq edged higher - it has closed higher for six straight sessions.
  • Walmart Inc. (WMT - Get Report)  rose 2.23% to $102.22, after the world's largest retailer posted adjusted earnings in its fourth quarter of $1.41 a share, beating analysts' forecasts of $1.33, and same-store sales in the U.S. rose 4.2%, beating estimates of 3.2%.
  • Medtronic PLC's (MDT - Get Report) fiscal third-quarter adjusted profit of $1.29 a share beat Wall Street estimates by 5 cents. Shares rose 0.4%, to $92.31. 

Wall Street Overview

Stocks closed higher on Tuesday, Feb. 19, as investors looked to a key round of trade talks between the U.S. and China in Washington for any clues as to whether the two sides can reach an agreement in the final two weeks before a self-imposed deadline would trigger fresh tariffs between the world's two biggest economies.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will lead this week's negotiations, which begin Tuesday, with China's Vice Premier Liu He expected to visit the U.S. capital Thursday and Friday following a successful round of talks last week in Beijing. Should the March 2 deadline pass without a deal, the U.S. is set to lift tariffs on $200 billion worth of China-made goods to 25% from 10%, while China has vowed to react in kind.

President Donald Trump, however, has hinted that he may extend the talks in order to address the myriad issues that still separate the two countries.

"We're making a lot of progress," Trump told his supporters during a rally in Florida on Monday. "Nobody expected this was going to be happening."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 8.07 points, or 0.03%, to 25,891, the S&P 500 rose 0.15%, and the Nasdaq rose 0.19%.

Walmart Inc.  (WMT - Get Report)  was rising 2.23% after the world's largest retailer posted adjusted earnings in its fourth quarter of $1.41 a share, beating analysts' forecasts of $1.33. Revenue of $138.8 billion was in line with analysts' forecasts.

Same-store sales in the U.S. rose 4.2% in the quarter and beat estimates of 3.8%.

The increase in U.S. same-store sales was well ahead of the company's "at least 3%" guidance issued in September and extended a 17th consecutive quarterly streak of increasing domestic sales growth. The company also reiterated its fiscal-year guidance of 3% constant currency sales growth, around $11 billion in capex, and a "decline by a low single-digit percentage range compared with FY19 adjusted" earnings per share.

Medtronic PLC (MDT - Get Report) posted fiscal third-quarter adjusted profit of $1.29 a share, 5 cents above Wall Street estimates. Revenue of $7.55 billion beat estimates of $7.53 billion. The company also raised its earnings outlook for 2019.

Medtronic rose 0.4%.

Advance Auto Parts Inc. (AAP - Get Report) earned $1.17 a share on an adjusted basis in the fourth quarter, beating forecasts of $1.13. Sales in the quarter were $2.11 billion, in line with forecasts. Same-store sales rose 3.4%, below forecasts of 3.6%. The stock was down 1.66%.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV - Get Report) for widespread failures to accurately track the combined weight of checked bags loaded onto each of its jets, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing government officials and internal agency documents.

Shares of the airline closed down .05%.

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. ( CTB - Get Report) burned up analysts' forecasts, reporting fourth-quarter and full-year adjusted earnings that topped analysts' forecasts. The stock fell 2.52%.

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