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Markets Right Now: Stocks end modestly higher on Wall Street

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The latest on developments in financial markets (All times local):

4:00 p.m.

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

UnitedHealth Group climbed 3.6 per cent, the most in the Dow Jones industrial average, after issuing a strong forecast for earnings next year.

Energy companies ended lower as the price of crude oil slumped.

Investors seemed to doubt that an OPEC meeting this week will produce meaningful production cuts.

The price of oil sank nearly 4 per cent. Among energy companies, Hess fell 3.8 per cent.

The Dow rose 23 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 19,121. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed 2 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 2,204. The Nasdaq composite edged up 11 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 5,279.

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11:45 a.m.

Stocks are turning higher on Wall Street as the market shakes off an early stumble.

Real estate and health care companies are doing the best in midday trading Tuesday, but the energy sector is still lower because of a drop in the price of crude oil.

Traders are looking ahead to a meeting of OPEC nations Wednesday to see if the cartel will finalize a preliminary agreement to curb production.

U.S. crude was down 3 per cent to $45 a barrel in New York.

Tiffany surged 4 per cent after reporting strong earnings.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 31 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 19,130. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 7 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 2,208. The Nasdaq composite climbed 33 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 5,402.

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9:35 a.m.

Stocks are getting off to a mixed start on Wall Street as declines in energy companies offset gains in other sectors including real estate.

Energy stocks were falling along with the price of crude oil early Tuesday. Traders are looking ahead to a meeting of OPEC nations Wednesday to see if the cartel will finalize a preliminary agreement to curb production.

U.S. crude was down 3 per cent to $45 a barrel in New York.

Tiffany surged 7 per cent after reporting strong earnings.

The Dow Jones industrial average was little changed at 19,101. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up a point to 2,202. The Nasdaq composite was up 5 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 5,374.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.34 per cent.