U.S. Stocks End Higher, Sidestep Oil Weakness

By Mark DeCambreMarketWatch Pulse

U.S. stocks ended higher Thursday, led by gains in materials and industrials stocks. The equity market had been tracking gains in crude-oil prices earlier in the session but bucked that trend as oil turned lower on waning confidence that a pact to curb output by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries was imminent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average [DJIA] advanced 79.85 points, or 0.5%, to 16,416, the S&P 500 index climbed 3 points, or 0.2%, to 1,915, while the Nasdaq Composite Index moved 5 points, or 0.1%, to 4,509. Weakness in the dollar helped materials stocks gain, with the S&P 500 materials sector ending 2.8% higher. The S&P 500's industrials sector picked up 1.7% to post the day's second-best advance.

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