Stocks Book Modest Gains As New Home Sales Rise

By Markets MarketWatch Pulse

U.S. stocks on Tuesday closed in positive territory, but off their best levels, as upbeat U.S. new home sales and a report on European manufacturing data supported buying. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 17 points, or 0.1%, to close at 18,547, underpinned by gains in Nike Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. . The S&P 500 picked up 4 points, or 0.2%, at 2,186, while the Nasdaq Composite Index added 15 points, or 0.3%, at 5,260. Gains, however small, helped to push the Nasdaq Composite to briefly touch an intraday closing high of 5,275.74, before retreating. The S&P 500 also had been within striking distance of a all-time trading high. Meanwhile, Best Buy Co. Inc. soared nearly 20% to post its best daily advance in 15 years, according to FactSet data. And crude-oil prices reversed course to close higher after a report on Tuesday indicated that Iran may be willing to participate in a coordinated crude-oil output freeze.

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