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The close: S&P 500 hits new high, breaks intraday record

U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday, sending the S&P 500 to a new record closing high in a session that saw the benchmark index also break a new intraday record level. However, Canadian stocks fell under the weight of falling gold producers.

The S&P 500 closed at 1570.25, up 8.08 points or 0.5 per cent. The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average closed at 14,662.01, up 89.16 points or 0.6 per cent. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index closed at 12,682.10, down 13.04 points or 0.1 per cent.

The moves followed a report showing a 3 per cent rise in U.S. factory orders in February, close to expectations for a gain of 2.9 per cent and its biggest rise in five months – providing fresh evidence that the U.S. economy is doing relatively well.

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In addition, European bond yields fell, pointing to subsiding concerns about the ongoing debt crisis there – which flared up recently over the financial crisis in Cyprus. The yield on the 10-year Spanish government bond fell 12 basis points, to 4.92 per cent. The yield on the 10-year Italian government bond fell 14 basis points, to 4.61 per cent.

Within the S&P 500, Hewlett-Packard Co. fell 5.2 per cent after Goldman Sachs recommended the stock as a "sell."

Vodafone Group PLC rose 3.8 per cent after the Financial Times reported that AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. are working on a joint offer for the mobile phone company.

Among key commodities, gold fell to $1,575.40 (U.S.) an ounce, down $24.60, for its biggest decline in five weeks. The slide was largely linked to technical selling. Crude oil fell to $96.82 a barrel, down 25 cents.

Among Canadian commodity producers, Barrick Gold Corp. fell 2.6 per cent and Suncor Energy Inc. rose 1.2 per cent.

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About the Author
Investing Reporter

David Berman has been writing about business and investing since 1995. He has written for a number of magazines, including Canadian Business and MoneySense. He worked at the Financial Post as an investing writer and daily columnist before moving to the Globe and Mail in 2008. More

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