Stocks Book Modest Gains As New Home Sales Rise

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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