Wall Street ends mixed, Dow hits 28-month high

08:43, December 29, 2010      

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Wall Street closed mixed on Tuesday as worse-than-expected U.S. home prices and consumer confidence limited the gains led by energy stocks, despite the Dow Jones industrial average hitting its 28-month high.

On Tuesday, crude oil prices gained as U.S. dollar index dipped and the blizzard that blanketed U.S. East Coast boosted heating oil demand.

Crude benchmark for February delivery on the New York Mercantile gained 49 cents, or 0.54 percent to 91.49 dollars a barrel.

In London, brent North Sea crude for February delivery climbed 53 cents to 94.38 dollars a barrel.

Lifted by oil prices, S&P 500 energy sector was up 0.27 percent, with share of Chevron Corp. rising by 1.19 percent, and basic material sector gained 0.65 percent.

General Motors Co., the automaker one-third owned by the U.S. government, rose as much as 2.08 percent after analysts at JPMorgan Chase &Co. and Barclays Plc recommended buying the shares 40 days after trading began.

The Dow hit 11,575.54, its highest level since August 2008.

On Tuesday, the Conference Board reported that hit by a surprisingly negative assessment of the jobs market, the consumer confidence index for December declined nearly two points to 52.5, far below the expected 57.4.

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