NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock markets broke into record territory Tuesday just a day after the S&P 500 crossed the 2,000-point milestone. Confidence remained from reassurances last week by top central bankers that the underpinnings of the stock market, as predicated by ultra-low interest rates, will remain intact.
Signs of an improving economic recovery, headlines of Burger King's (BKW) confirmation that it will buy Tim Hortons (THI) for about $11 billion and Warren Buffett's involvement in Burger King's takeover move also were lifting investor sentiment.
AT&T moves one step closer to buying DirecTV:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3% to 17,128.60 in early afternoon trading, after touching earlier a fresh intraday high of 17,153.80. The S&P 500 advanced 0.18% to 2,001.59, trading as high as 2,005.04 during the day. The index is on track to finish above 2,000 for the first time. The Nasdaq increased 0.24% to 4,568.10.
The S&P 500 smashed its way through 2,000 on Monday, more than tripling from its low on March 9, 2009 of 666 and surging from the 3.9% dip from July 24 through Aug. 7, propelled by deals announcements and new confidence in Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi.
"The bull market is almost 35 months old now. However, it seems to be maturing rather than aging," said Yardeni Research's president and chief investment strategist Ed Yardeni.
The Census Bureau reported Tuesday that U.S. durable goods orders jumped 22.6% in July vs. the 7.5% increase expected by economists, driven in large part by strong Boeing (BA) orders. Orders fell by a disappointing 0.8%, excluding transportation.
Home price results were mixed. The June S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index showed that home-price increases continued to slow in June, rising 8.1%. However, the June FHFA Housing Price Index came in above expectations at 0.4%.
The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index rose to a stronger-than-expected 92.4 in August.
In the latest deals headlines, Warren Buffett is helping finance Burger King's takeover of Canadian coffee-and-doughnut chain Tim Hortons. Burger King confirmed Tuesday that it is buying Tim Hortons for about $11 billion, creating the world's third largest fast-food restaurant company with approximately $23 billion in sales. Tim Hortons surged 8.57% to $81.12.
Amazon.com (AMZN) is buying streaming platform Twitch Interactive for $970 million in cash as it seeks to take part in video gaming's growth as an online spectator sport. Amazon was up 2.42% to $342.11.
Best Buy (BBY) slumped 6.19% to $30.02 after the electronics retailer posted a bigger-than-expected decline in same-store sales and missed revenue expectations.
--By Andrea Tse in New York