The Dow and S&P 500 notched new record highs on Tuesday for the third consecutive day. All eyes were on the Federal Reserve, which kicked off its two-day policy meeting in Washington amid a backdrop of robust global growth and tepid inflation, a mix that has helped boost markets around the world to a series of record highs.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 119 points, or 0.49%, to close at 24,505, a new record. The S&P 500 rose 0.16%, also finishing at a record high, while the Nasdaq slipped 0.19% after moving in and out of positive territory earlier.
Telecom companies were showing strength with Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ - Get Report) rising more than 2%. Verizon received an analyst upgrade from Instinet after announcing it reached a new, five-year agreement to stream NFL games.
Stocks got a boost after U.S. producer prices rose 0.4% in November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Core prices, which strip out food, energy and trade, also rose 0.4%. The data reinforces the belief the Fed will raise rates for the third time this year on Wednesday, Dec. 13.
Shares of Walt Disney Co. (DIS - Get Report) rose 0.5% after rival Comcast Corp. (CMCSA - Get Report) announced that it was no longer pursuing the purchase of entertainment assets from Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (FOXA) .
"When a set of assets like Twenty-First Century Fox's becomes available, it's our responsibility to evaluate if there's a strategic fit that could benefit our company and our shareholders," Comcast said in a statement. "That's what we tried to do and we are no longer engaged in the review of those assets. We never got the level of engagement needed to make a definitive offer."
Shares of Xerox Corp. (XRX - Get Report) were up 0.5% following reports that said activist investor Carl Icahn wants to replace CEO Jeff Jacobson. Icahn is attempting to get four of his nominees on Xerox's board.
Boeing Co. (BA - Get Report) was up 2.4% after the plane maker announced a 20.4% hike to its quarterly dividend and an $18 billion share repurchase plan. Boeing will now pay out $1.71 a share, up from $1.42.
Oil stocks, including BP PLC (BP - Get Report) , which gained 1.8%, and Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS.A - Get Report) , which gained nearly 1%, were upside leaders after Brent crude hit a July 2015 high of $65.63 per barrel following the shutdown of the Forties North Sea Oil pipeline.
However, oil prices were giving back gains that stemmed from the supply crunch initiated by the shutdown of the Forties pipeline.
West Texas Intermediate crude closed down 1.5% to $57.14 a barrel, while Brent crude, the global benchmark, declined 1.7% to $63.61 a barrel.
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