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S&P 500 edges higher as calm continues to reign for stocks

The New York Stock Exchange on Dec. 21,

The New York Stock Exchange on Dec. 21, 2016. Credit: AP / Mark Lennihan

Stocks pushed further into record territory Tuesday, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index’s immaculate start to the year extended to a sixth day.

Health care stocks and banks led the way, as calm continues to reign over markets around the world. The strong gains overshadowed weakness for dividend-paying stocks and other areas of the market hurt by rising interest rates after 10-year Treasury yields hit their highest level since March.

The S&P 500 rose 3.58 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,751.29 to equal its longest winning streak leading off a year since 2010.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 102.80 points, or 0.4 percent, to 25,385.80, the Nasdaq composite gained 6.19 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,163.58 and the Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks slipped 1.71, or 0.1 percent, to 1,560.10.

Stocks have been rising at a remarkably steady pace for more than a year as investors bask in a global economy that’s strengthening in sync. Corporate profits are on the upswing, and Washington’s recently approved tax cut should also boost earnings.

“I would like to say that there’s something onerous coming, just because it would be different from what everyone is talking about,” said Nate Thooft, senior portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management. But he expects the market to continue gliding higher as the economy and corporate profits strengthen.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.55 percent from 2.48 percent late Monday.

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