NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks edged higher on Tuesday as investors held out hope that a deal to resolve Greece's lingering debt problems could be reached by the weekend.
The S&P 500 added less than 1% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1%. The Nasdaq also increased 0.1% to a record 5,160, though not enough for the technology-fueled benchmark to notch a record close for the second time this week.
Eurozone finance ministers reacted positively to new proposed reforms submitted by the Greek government in a meeting on Monday. Among the reforms reported, though not confirmed, Greece will eliminate early retirement benefits, cut defense spending and increase corporate tax rates. Eurozone leaders will meet again at the end of the week. Talks have escalated as Greece faces a crucial repayment to the International Monetary Fund by the end of the month.
"What has been an ongoing distraction amidst an endless series of presumed deadlines and fruitless negotiating sessions seems to be at the point of resolution, one way or the other," Ameriprise Financial chief market strategist David Joy wrote in a note.
West Texas Intermediate crude rose 1% to $61.01 a barrel over Tuesday's session in a rally analysts characterized as a technical bounce. The commodity was also showing some buoyancy ahead of weekly inventories data out on Wednesday.
The utilities sector was the worst performer on signs of continued sluggishness in manufacturing. Edison International (EIX), Southwest Gas (SWX), Duke Energy (DUK) and Dominion Resources (D) fell, while the Utilities SPDR ETF (XLU) slid 1.4%.
U.S. manufacturing growth slowed again in June for the third straight month, falling to its slowest pace since October 2013, according to the Markit PMI Manufacturing Index. The survey fell to 53.4 in June, down from a May reading of 54. Economists had expected the measure to increase to 54.2.
New home sales in May increased 2.2% to an annual rate of 546,000, its fastest pace since February 2008. The reading was a touch higher than estimates of a 545,000 annual rate. The median home price was down 1% from a year ago to $282,800.
Durable goods orders in May fell 1.8%, weighed on by a 35.3% month-on-month slide in the volatile commercial aircraft component. April's reading was revised down to a 1.5% decline from a previous 1% drop. Excluding transportation, the measure climbed 0.5%, above estimates of a 0.3% slip.
BlackBerry (BBRY) shares slid 4.1% after missing analysts' quarterly estimates. The company posted a fiscal first-quarter loss of 5 cents a share, 2 cents narrower than expected, while revenue of $658 million dropped nearly 32% from a year earlier and missed estimates by more than $25 million.
Sonic (SONC) fell nearly 11% after reporting an in-line third quarter and weaker comparable-store sales. The restaurant chain reported same-store sales rose 6.1% in the third quarter, affected by harsh weather in some of its regional operations.
Stocks rose on Monday as the prospect of a Greek debt deal finally looked like a possibility. That helped the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average to close with robust gains and the Nasdaq to notch a new record close. Click here for more.