US stocks finished Tuesday just off of record highs as a string of strong economic data buoyed investor optimism, even though falling oil prices pared some of the gains.
The S&P 500 ended 0.1 per cent higher at 2204.66, within reach of the record 2,213.35 it marked on November 25. Healthcare and real-estate stocks led the gains as investor sentiment warmed following an upward revision in third-quarter US GDP growth figures. Meanwhile, the energy sector was the biggest loser, declining 1.2 per cent, with angst swirling around Wednesday’s highly anticipated Opec meeting.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1 per cent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite finished 0.2 per cent higher at 5,379.92 after hitting a fresh intraday high of 5,403.861 earlier in the day.
While signs of economic recovery in the US cemented expectations for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in December, the rise in government bond yields did not last long on Tuesday. The 10-year Treasury yield, which moves opposite to its price, fell 1 basis point to 2.3 per cent after climbing as much as 3.6 basis points in the morning.
The dollar index, a measure of the buck against a basket of peers, failed to hold onto some of its earlier gains, sliding 0.3 per cent lower at 101.99.
Uncertainty over whether Opec will agree to curb production on Wednesday meeting continued to weigh on oil prices. Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, fell 3.6 per cent to $46.48 a barrel, while the West Texas Intermediate fell 3.9 per cent at $45.26.