Stocks head higher for fourth day

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market edged higher Tuesday as investors bought companies that fare best when the economic outlook is bright.

All major stocks indexes rose, but gains were led by the riskier parts of the market. The Russell 2000, an index of small-company stocks, climbed for a fourth straight day. The Dow Jones transportation average, seen as a leading indicator for the broader economy, also jumped.

The gains suggest investors are getting more confident about the economy’s prospects. In the first half of the year, stock markets were powered by the safer companies that paid large dividends.

The Russell 2000 rose eight points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,018.05. It has gained 4.2 percent in July and is moving deeper into record territory. The index has risen more this year than its large-company counterparts, the Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index.

The Dow Jones transportation index rose the most among major U.S. indexes Tuesday, led by strong gains for Alaska Air Group and FedEx.

The index jumped 148 points, or 2.4 percent, to 6,446. Alaska Air Group rose 7 percent after it forecast an additional $50 million a year in revenue from increased fees. FedEx rose 6 percent on speculation that William Ackman’s hedge fund, Pershing Square, could invest in the company.

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