Stocks climbed on Tuesday as evidence of an economy on the mend overshadowed a slump in crude oil prices.
The Nasdaq rose 0.62%, close to an all-time high of 5,403 set earlier in the session. The S&P 500 was up 0.35%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.22%. Broad gains were seen across the majority of sectors, aside from energy and basic materials.
The U.S. economy grew at an annual 3.2% pace in the third quarter, according to the second estimate of growth from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The initial estimate showed an increase of 2.9%, the best quarterly gain in two years. Economists had anticipated the measure to increase 3%. Consumer spending rose 2.8% over the third quarter, while exports increased 10.1%.
Oil prices slumped on Tuesday as doubts rose over whether major oil producers can agree to a production cut. Reports emerged Tuesday morning that Iran's oil minister, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, had ruled out cuts from the world's sixth-largest producer. Iran had recently argued that Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries that had increased production in recent months should be responsible for the bulk of production cuts.
This is just another wrench in the works for a possible OPEC agreement. Russia's oil minister reportedly won't attend an Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting on Wednesday, a day after Saudi Arabia's oil minister, Khalid Al-Falih, expressed his own doubts over the outcome. Al-Falih suggested OPEC should let demand drive prices rather than a production cut.
OPEC aims to limit production to 32.5 million to 33 million barrels a day, though some members are reportedly hesitant to cede market share. The bloc pumped a record 33.83 million barrels a day of oil last month.
"OPEC may yet reach some step toward reining in excess supply, but it looks as though it will be a weak, unhappy compromise rather than a clear assertion of control over the balance in the global petroleum market," Tim Evans, energy futures specialist at Citi, wrote in a note.
West Texas Intermediate crude closed 3.9% lower at $45.23 a barrel on Tuesday, its worst settlement since November 14.
The energy sector was the worst performer on Wall Street Tuesday. Shares of Chevron (CVX) , Exxon Mobil (XOM) , Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) and BP (BP) tumbled, while the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) toppled 0.9%.
The argument for another rate hike has "clearly strengthened" since early November, Federal Reserve Gov. Jerome Powell said in comments to the Economic Club of Indiana. Powell noted that the labor market remains on "solid footing" and that the Fed's 2% inflation target was in sight. The chances of a rate hike in December were extremely high at 96%, according to CME Group fed funds futures.
Consumer confidence in the U.S. climbed at a faster-than-expected pace in November. The measure rose to 107.1 from 100.8 in October, above consensus of 101.1.
U.S. home prices reached all-time highs in September thanks to strong demand and constrained inventory. The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Index was 5.1% higher in September than a year earlier. Metropolitan areas in the West, including Seattle and Portland, drove prices higher.
Tiffany (TIF) added more than 3% after posting an increase in third-quarter profit that came in above estimates. The jewelry retailer earned 76 cents a share, 6 cents higher than a year earlier and above consensus of 67 cents. Same-store sales fell 2%, better than an estimated decline of 4.1%, as sales in Japan skyrocketed. Same-store sales in Japan unexpectedly surged 20%, far better than an estimated 4.3% decline.
UnitedHealth (UNH) increased 3% after guiding for an upbeat 2017. The health insurer said it anticipates adjusted earnings of $9.30 to $9.60 a share over fiscal 2017 on revenue of $197 billion to $199 billion. Analysts anticipated adjusted earnings of $7.51.
Pfizer (PFE) was upgraded to overweight from equal-weight at Barclays. Analysts said the company should be able to use foreign cash to boost returns and that the oncology business will drive growth.
Shoe Carnival (SCVL) slumped 12% after missing third-quarter earnings and revenue estimates. The retailer said it suffered from weaker-than-expected sales of its boots and other seasonal goods.