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Stock Market Today: S&P 500 jumps as ongoing rally puts record high in sight -- The S&P 500 closed higher Tuesday, and now has a record high within insight as the rally in stocks broadened beyond tech at a time when rate-cut optimism remains front and center.    

By 16:00 ET (21:00 GMT), The S&P 500 traded 0.6% to 4,768.37, and now is about 0.6% away from its all-time closing high of 4,796.56. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 251 points, or 0.7% to close at fifth-straight record high, while the NASDAQ Composite climbed 0.7%.

Energy, materials attract bullish bets as rally broadens

Materials and energy led the market higher, with the latter supported by a rise in oil prices even as the U.S. announced plans to expand a naval task force to protect shipping through the Red Sea.

Materials including The Mosaic Company (NYSE:MOS), FMC Corporation (NYSE:FMC), and Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Inc (NYSE:FCX) were led higher following a jump in commodities including copper amid ongoing bets that rate cuts will bolster economic growth and metals demand. 

Google to settle lawsuit for $700 million; Microsoft gets Oppenheimer backing as 'top AI pick'

In big tech, Alphabet's (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google has agreed to pay $700 million to settle a lawsuit brought against the search giant by U.S. states and consumers over anticompetitive practices at its Play app store on Android devices, court filings showed on Monday. Alphabet stock rose 1%.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), meanwhile, closed just above the flatline after Oppenheimer dubbed it as a "top large cap pick" for 2024, citing the tech giant's "unique AI position."

The tech giant, Oppenheimer adds, is set for a generative AI boost and unlike its competitors is less likely to face GPU supply capacity issues. 

Kenvue climbs after scoring legal victory in Tylenol class action; Affirm deepens Walmart (NYSE:WMT) relationship

Kenvue Inc (NYSE:KVUE) rose more than 2% as the consumer-health company, a Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) spinoff, scored a major legal victory after a judge ruled in a favor of the company, in a class action lawsuit alleging that its exposure to Tylenol was linked to autism.

Affirm Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:AFRM) said its “buy now, pay later” partnership with Walmart would expand to more than 4,500 of the latter's self-checkout kiosks, sending its share price up 15%.

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