By Natascha Divac

U.S. stocks rose Tuesday, putting the Dow Jones Industrial Average within 30 points of the never-before-reached 20000 level.

The Dow industrials rose 40 points, or 0.2%, to 19973 shortly after the opening bell, helped by gains in Microsoft, Apple and Cisco. The S&P 500 added 0.4%, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.9%.

Trading volumes have dwindled and stocks have been moving in a narrow range at the end of the year. Still, major indexes have extended their postelection rally. The Dow Jones Industrial Average clinched its seventh straight week of gains on Friday, rising 11% over that period.

On Tuesday, shareswere up broadly in the U.S., with technology shares among the biggest gainers. The S&P 500 technology sector rose 0.8%, with eBay, PayPal and Apple each up about 1%.

Dividend-heavy sectors lagged behind broader indexes. Utilities shares in the S&P 500 fell 0.4%, while telecom shares fell 0.2%.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.2% and shares in Asia were mixed.

In Europe, bank shares were among the worst performers on an otherwise quiet day. The Stoxx Europe 600 Banks Index fell 0.1% after the European Central Bank expressed fresh concerns about the future of Italy's ailing lender, Banca Monte dei Paschi.

Monte dei Paschi has a much bigger hole in its balance sheet than previously calculated, the ECB said Monday, meaning the Italian government will have to ramp up the amount it will have to deploy to rescue the troubled lender.

In currencies, the dollar rose slightly Tuesday, extending a postelection rally thathas brought it to a 14-year high.

The dollar has strengthened in recent weeks on bets of higher inflation and rising rates, which make it more attractive to yield-seeking investors. On Tuesday, the WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the dollar against a basket of 16 currencies, added 0.2%.

Meanwhile, bonds resumed their postelection slide Tuesday.

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note edged higher to 2.567% from 2.542%, according to Tradeweb. Yields rise as prices fall.

Japan's Nikkei Stock Average rose less than 0.1%, snapping a three-day losing streak, while the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.3%. Markets in Australia and Hong Kong remained closed Tuesday.

Write to Natascha Divac at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 27, 2016 10:40 ET (15:40 GMT)

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