Stock Market Today: Dow, S&P 500 Push Again to Record Highs

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks were flip-flopping between slight gains and losses on Tuesday, but if the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 can deliver a gain for the day, no matter how small, they would cinch another record-breaking close.

Watch the video below for a closer look at how U.S. markets started the trading day Tuesday:

The Dow and S&P 500 on Monday clocked another day of record closing highs, the latest win in a three-week rally, despite a quiet day for Wall Street. This marked the fourth consecutive trading session of record highs for the Dow, while the Nasdaq hit its highest level since March 2000.

Markets have been drifting higher, and smashing records, over the last few weeks on the back of mostly positive earnings, better-than-expected U.S. jobs data, mid-term elections and signs the country would be resilient in the face of a global slowdown.

Past stock market performance following mid-term elections could portend indices climbing even higher, said Gary Thayer, Wells Fargo's chief macro strategist.

"History suggests that investor optimism is likely to improve after the election," Thayer wrote in a report Tuesday. "The U.S. stock market tends to bottom in late September and early October in mid-term election years and tends to rally into the end of the year after the election."

Wells Fargo predicted some near-term minor retracement for stocks, with a positive trend during the "seasonally stronger period" from October through April.

By midmorning Tuesday, the Dow had inched 0.02% higher, the S&P 500 added 0.06%, and the Nasdaq was up 0.03%.

There was little news overseas to impact U.S. markets early Tuesday. European stocks were climbing after strong earnings reports from companies such as Vodafone  (VOD) , while Tokyo's Nikkei posted a 2% gain after officials hinted of a delayed hike in Japan's sales tax.

Southwest Airlines (LUV) shares were climbing more than 2% after Chief Financial Officer Tammy Romo forecast a 6% lift in capacity over 2015. That growth is expected to stem from the addition of more seats, as well as longer-distance flights.

Zynga (ZNGA) popped more than 4% after analysts at Jefferies upgraded the stock to "buy" from "hold," crediting new mobile games due for release in 2015.

Alibaba (BABA) shares were correcting around 2.8% after a 4% increase a day earlier. The Chinese e-commerce site had been rallying after it exceeded expectations for sales on Singles Day, China's largest annual online shopping event. Overall, more than $8 billion worth of transactions were processed in the Alibaba ecosystem.

Rackspace (RAX) was spiking 12.3% after third-quarter profit topped estimates and the company announced a $500 million buyback (around 9% of shares outstanding).

Homebuilder DR Horton  (DHI) shares were up 2%. The company missed earnings estimates by 3 cents a share, though revenue spiked 33% year over year to $2.42 billion.

U.S. government offices and the bond market were closed for Veterans Day.

--Written by Keris Alison Lahiff in New York.

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