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U.S. stocks rise despite fall of oil price, energy sector

The American flag flies above the Wall Street

The American flag flies above the Wall Street entrance to the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. Credit: AP / Richard Drew

Solid gains Tuesday in several big health care companies led major U.S. stock indexes to end modestly higher.

UnitedHealth Group climbed 3.6 percent, the most in the Dow Jones industrial average, after issuing a strong forecast for earnings next year. Shares ended the day at $157.59, up $5.48.

Energy companies ended lower as the price of crude oil slumped. Investors seemed to doubt that a meeting this week of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will produce meaningful cuts that would curb production and begin a draw down on the worldwide glut of oil.

ON WALL STREET: At the close, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 23.7 points, about 0.1 percent at 19,121.6. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained nearly 3 points, about 0.1 percent, to 2,204.7. The Nasdaq composite gained 11.1 points, about 0.2 percent, to nearly 5,380.

BOND PRICES: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.34 percent.

OIL PRICES: At the close, U.S. benchmark crude was down $1.83 at $45.25 a barrel in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London on the Intercontinental Exchange Europe, the price of Brent crude, used to price international oils, was down $1.83 at $46.41 a barrel. Among energy companies, Hess fell 3.8 percent. Shares closed at $49.05, down $1.95.

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