Tech and health care take indexes to a record close

NEW YORK - The market's biggest winners this year, technology and health care, powered U.S. stock indexes to more all-time highs on Tuesday.

The S&P 500 index climbed 16.89 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,599.03. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 160.50 points, or 0.7 percent, to 23,590.83. The Nasdaq composite added 71.76 points, or 1.1 percent, to 6,862.48.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose for a fourth day and picked up 15.49 points, or 1 percent, to 1,518.89. All four indexes set records. The Russell had struggled in recent weeks, but on Tuesday it beat its record close from early October.

Big-name technology companies lead the way overall. Apple rose $3.16, or 1.9 percent, to $173.14 and Facebook added $3.12, or 1.7 percent, to $181.86. Health-care companies climbed, as well. Those two sectors are the best-performing parts of the market this year.

Homebuilders climbed after the National Association of Realtors said sales of homes grew in October. They're down slightly from last year because there are so few houses on the market, but the tight supply and rising prices have sent homebuilder stocks soaring this year. On Tuesday, NVR advanced $59.69, or 1.8 percent, to $3,377, while D.R. Horton gained $1.15, or 2.4 percent, to $49.35.

Medtronic jumped after it posted profit that was larger than analysts had expected. The company said sales of heart devices including newer devices like its CoreValve Evolut Pro heart valve, drove its sales higher in the fiscal second quarter. The stock rose $3.76, or 4.8 percent, to $82.66.

Signet Jewelers plunged $23.05, or 30.4 percent, to $52.79 after the company slashed its annual forecast. The company recently sold its highest-quality loans to Alliance Data Systems, but the company said "disruptions" related to that move have affected sales, especially for its Kay brand.

Alliance Data Systems fell 83 cents to $223.84. Aaron's, which is running a lease-payment program for other Signet customers, fell 54 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $36.20.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 41 cents to $56.84 a barrel in New York, while Brent crude, the international standard, added 35 cents to $62.57 a barrel in London.

Wholesale gasoline climbed 3 cents to $1.77 a gallon.

Gold rose $6.40 to $1,281.70 an ounce. Silver added 12 cents to $16.96 an ounce. Both metals had taken sharp losses Monday. Copper rose 4 cents to $3.13 a pound.

The dollar slipped to 112.44 yen from 112.67 yen. The euro rose to $1.1742 from $1.1732.