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Tuesday's markets will be watching earnings and waiting for the latest on inflation

  • Stocks could continue to drift into record territory Tuesday, as investors watch earnings news and await the big inflation data at the end of the week.
  • Earnings from CVS Health, Michael Kors and Dean Foods are expected in the morning, while Disney and Priceline are reporting after the close.
  • NFIB small business survey and job opening data are on the calendar.

Stocks could continue to drift deeper into record territory Tuesday, as investors watch earnings news and await the big inflation data at the end of the week.

There are earnings from CVS Health, Norwegian Cruise Line, Michael Kors, Dean Foods, Time Inc., Virtu Financial, Wayfair, SeaWorld and Ralph Lauren, among others, before the bell. Disney, Priceline, Blue Buffalo, Hertz Global, Monster Beverage, TripAdvisor, Continental Resources, Tesoro and Zillow report after the market close.

The Dow closed at its ninth straight high Monday, and the S&P 500 edged up 0.2 percent to 2,480, its first new high since July 26. The Dow was up 25 points at 22,118. Nasdaq was up 32 at 6,383.

"As long as monetary policy continues to be the way it is, it's going to continue to make new highs," said Steve Massocca, managing director with Wedbush Securities.

Traders have been watching high-flying tech stocks since they ran into some turbulence in recent sessions.

Massocca said some high-flying stocks, such as the FANG names, are priced too high with the exception of Alphabet. Earlier Monday, Omega Advisors head Leon Cooperman said Alphabet has become his favorite stock, but the negative is it's owned by everybody. Other FANG names include Facebook, Amazon and Netflix.

Inflation data at the end of the week — PPI on Thursday and, more importantly, CPI on Friday — could impact expectations for the Federal Reserve. Fed watchers expect the Fed to announce at its September meeting that it will begin unwinding its balance sheet, and many expect the Fed to raise interest rates in December. But the markets are skeptical the Fed will move ahead with the rate hike, without a stronger sign of inflation.

"People don't think rates are going up, and I agree with them," said Massocca, pointing to lingering debt problems for some countries in Europe, like Greece. "Japan is just a den of deflation right now. We're going to raise our rates? The dollar would go through the roof and there's a massive trade imbalance. The Fed understands that so they're moving slowly."

Inflation has been a problem area for the Fed, which is near meeting its objective of full employment. The lack of inflation encourages naysayers who think the Fed will not raise rates again this year. So the consumer price index is important, following last week's jobs report. While jobs gains were strong, wage gains were up about 2.5 percent.

Besides earnings, there will be NFIB small business survey at 6 a.m., and there will be JOLTs data on layoffs and turnover at 10 a.m.

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