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U.S. and euro zone stock indexes end day with gains

Traders work on the floor of the New

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange at the start of the trading session on Wall Street on Aug. 5, 2016. Credit: EPA / Justin Lane

U.S. and European markets rose Tuesday following a report that business was expanding in the 19 countries that use the euro. U.S. home builders rose following a big jump in sales of new homes last month. Best Buy soared after the electronics retailer reported a surge in profit as online sales increased.

ON WALL STREET: At the close, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 17.9 points, about 0.1 percent, at 18,547.3. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed 4.3 points, about 0.2 percent, to 2,187. The Nasdaq composite added 15.5 points, about 0.3 percent, to 5,260.1.

OIL PRICES: About the same time U.S. benchmark crude gained $1.18 to $47.97 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost $1.70 on Monday. In London, Brent crude, used to price oil internationally, gained 66 cents to $49.82 a barrel.

EUROPE: A survey across the 19-country eurozone found that business expanded in August at a modest but steady pace, a sign that companies were not overly worried about Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. The IHS Markit survey of purchasing managers reached a seven-month high.

ANALYST’S OPINION: “This morning’s [data] might provide some comfort to investors, as the Brexit impact on the European economy seems to have thus far been minimal,” said analyst John Briggs, head of fixed income strategy for the Americas at RBS, in an email to investors Tuesday morning.

Germany’s DAX closed up 0.9 percent, France’s CAC-40 rose 0.7 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 rose 0.6 percent.

SUMMER LULL: Global markets were otherwise subdued as trading volumes were thin amid the summer holidays. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is due to speak Friday at an annual conference of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Fed is not expected to raise interest rates at its September meeting but Yellen’s comments will be dissected for clues on the likelihood and timing of such a hike.

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