U.S. Stocks Close Higher On Strong Economic Data

By Markets MarketWatch Pulse

U.S. stocks closed higher Tuesday but below record highs as better-than-expected economic reports were tempered by a drop in oil prices. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 23.70 points, or 0.1%, to close at 19,121.60, led by gains in UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Boeing Co. . The S&P 500 index advanced 2.94 points, or 0.1%, to finish at 2,204.66, with health-care and real-estate the strongest sectors. The Nasdaq Composite index gained 11.11 points, or 0.2%, to close at 5,379.92, after reaching an intraday record of 5,403.86. Oil for January delivery settled down 3.8% at $45.30 a barrel on concerns that oil producers will not reach an agreement to cut output.

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