NEW YORK, May 16 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 was down slightly on Tuesday after a slew of mixed economic data and earnings while the Nasdaq hit another record as it was boosted by gains in technology stocks.
Utilities, phone companies and other high-dividend paying stocks were among the biggest decliners. Bucking the trend were shares of Verizon and those of General Electric, recently down 1.2% and 0.9% respectively.
Real estate shares slid 0.4% in the S&P 500, among the worst-performing sectors in the broad index Tuesday, after data showed us new-home construction declined in April for the third time in four months.
Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) advanced 0.4% to finish at 20,981.94, which is around 40 points shy of the all-time record. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 28.44 points, or 0.46 percent, to 6,149.67. Energy stocks in the S&P 500 are still down almost 10 percent for 2017, while the overall index has climbed 7 percent.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 91.59 points to finish at 15,629.47.
At the time of the United States close, West Texas Intermediate was up 1.9% to $48.75 a barrel and Brent crude was 1.7% higher at $51.70.
The S&P's financial sector ended the day with a 0.2-percent gain. From there, the energy sector carried the S&P 500 to its best mark of the day as crude oil rallied on news that Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation are in favor of extending the original OPEC/non-OPEC supply cut agreement.
The Federal Reserve provided some positive economic news, reporting that industrial production at U.S. factories, mines, and utilities rose 1 percent in April from March - the biggest gain since February 2014 and the third straight monthly gain.
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The Russell 2000 is up 37.55 points, or 2.8 percent.
Tesla TSLA.O was down 2.5 percent at $316.67 after Morgan Stanley downgraded the electric-car maker's stock. ICE Brent futures rallied $1.13, or 2.2%, to $51.97 a barrel.
Shares of Fireye (FEYE.O) added 7.5%, and Symantec (SYMC.O) and Palo Alto Networks (PANW.N) both gained around 3%.
Oil prices edged up about 0.7 percent on Tuesday, prompted by the dollar's decline and the expectation for a supply limit deal to extend into next year. Most home builders closed higher, led by LGI Homes, which rose 3.9 percent.
Natural gas fell 8 cents to $3.35 per 1,000 cubic feet, heating oil rose 2 cents to $1.51 per gallon and wholesale gasoline climbed 2 cents to $1.60 per gallon. Copper gained 1 cent to $2.55 per pound.
CURRENCIES: The euro rose to $1.0978 from $1.0924 late Friday. In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 rose 0.2 percent and Seoul's Kospi added 0.2 percent.
Shares of oil majors Exxon (XOM.N) and Chevron (CVX.N) helped boost the S&P energy index (.SPNY), which was on track to close higher for the first time in three sessions.