NEW YORK, Dec 31 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks closed out their best year in more than 15 on Tuesday, rising modestly on a strong consumer confidence reading that kept 2013's upward bias intact to the end.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 72.37 points, or 0.44 percent, to end unofficially at 16,576.66. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 7.29 points, or 0.40 percent, to finish unofficially at 1,848.36. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 22.39 points, or 0.54 percent, to close unofficially at 4,176.59.
In 2013, the Dow rose 26.5 percent in its best year since 1995, while the S&P 500 gained 29.6 percent in its best annual performance since 1997. The Nasdaq jumped 38 percent, its best year since 2009.