US stocks rise despite dip in car sales

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Stocks on Wall Street inched higher on Tuesday despite falls for several major carmakers amid declining US car sales.

Shares in Ford and General Motors slipped after they reported year-on-year declines in April sales.

The Nasdaq index, which has risen sharply in the last month, added 4 points to hit a new record of 6,095.37.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished 36.43 points higher at 20,949.89, while the S&P 500 index was up 2.84 points at 2,391.17.

Ford and General Motors were two of the heaviest fallers on Wall Street after reporting a 7.2% and 5.8% drop in sales respectively.

But gains for airline shares, tech giant Apple and handbag maker Coach helped to buoy Wall Street.

Apple stock climbed 0.63%, hitting a new record, in advance of the release of its second-quarter results.

Shares in handbag maker Coach spiked more than 11%, after the company reported stronger-than-expected quarterly profits. Net income rose to $122.2m from $112.5m a year earlier, as the company cut back on discounting.

Investors were also unfazed by a congressional hearing for airline executives where politicians raised the threat of tougher rules for the industry.

Stock at United Airlines parent United Continental Holdings, which has been in the hot seat after forcibly removing a passenger from a plane last month, was up more than 5%.

Shares at Delta Airlines climbed more than 5%, after the carrier reported a rise in revenue per passenger in April, despite major storms that led to thousands of cancelled flights.