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

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.

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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.

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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