Stocks Rise as Dow Flirts With Record

Durable goods orders unexpectedly dropped, while new home sales posted surprising gains. Crude futures surged near $63

Stocks finished modestly higher Wednesday, paring early gains and narrowly missing record highs after a mixed bag of economic data. End-of-quarter portfolio adjustments helped influence trading, says Standard & Poor's Equity Research.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 19.85 points, or 0.17%, to 11,689.24, its second highest close and within 33 points of its all-time best of 11,722.98, reached Jan. 14, 2000. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index edged up 0.25 points, or 0.02%, to 1,336.59. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite added 2.05 points, or 0.09%, to 2,263.39.

  All-Time Closing Highs
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