NEW YORK, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks added earlier gains Tuesday, with the Nasdaq Composite Index touching a new over-14- year high, as upbeat data and home improvement retailer Home Depot 's earnings provided a boost to the market.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 80.85 points, or 0.48 percent, to 16,919.59. The S&P 500 added 9.86 points, or 0.50 percent, to 1,981.60. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 19.20 points, or 0.43 percent, to 4,527.51.
With geopolitical tensions seemingly waning, investors were paying more attention to fundamentals, such as economic data and corporate earnings, which suggested the world's largest economy is faring well.
U.S. consumer prices rose at the slowest pace in five months in July, indicating that price pressure remained tamed as the economy improved, the Labor Department said Tuesday.
The Consumer Price Index, a main gauge of inflation, increased 0.1 percent in July on a seasonally adjusted basis, while over the last 12 months, the index increased 2.0 percent before seasonal adjustment.
Some analysts believed that the tepid inflation numbers may give the U.S. Federal Reserve ammunition to keep its ultra-loose monetary policy in place for a longer time, which would buoy the stock market further.
Meanwhile, U.S. housing starts rose sharply by 15.7 percent in July from the previous month, said the Commerce Department. Data showed that privately-owned housing starts for July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.093 million units, the highest level since last November.
In corporate earnings, Home Depot reported sales and net earnings for the second quarter that beat analysts' expectations. The company said its comparable sales for U.S. stores jumped 6.4 percent during the quarter. Home Depot shares jumped 5.55 percent to 88.23 dollars apiece.
Moreover, investors are keeping a close eye on its rival Lowe's which is slated to unveil its second-quarter earnings before Wednesday's opening bell.