* Brent crude at session lows after hitting 18-month high
* Bank stocks gain on Barclays price target raise
* Indexes up: Dow 0.38 pct, S&P 0.61 pct, Nasdaq 0.60 pct
(Adds details, comments, updates prices)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Jan 3 Wall Street was higher on Tuesday as a
post-election rally extended into the new year, but stocks pared
some of their early gains after oil prices eased from an
Oil prices were up 0.24 percent at $57.06 after touching a
high of $58.37 as investors keep a close watch on whether major
producers keep their promise of limiting output.
The retreat in stocks meant the Dow Jones Industrial Average
slipped away from 20,000 - a mark it has never hit before.
The Dow came within a hair's breadth of the milestone in
December as investors bet that President-elect Donald Trump
would introduce market friendly policies such as tax cuts and
The average rose to as much as 19,938.53 earlier in the
session on Tuesday, supported by gains in Goldman Sachs
and Walt Disney.
"The market is picking up where it left off since the Trump
presidency," said Thomas Wilson, senior investment manager at
"What you are seeing is the market moving up in anticipation
of fiscal expansion and a potential reflation trade that will
replace what has been a monetary policy-driven market for the
last several years."
Technology stocks were the main drivers of the gains on Wall
Street on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 technology sector
rising 0.9 percent and giving the broader index its biggest
Financials were up 0.9 percent after Barclays raised
price targets on several Wall Street banks including Bank of
America, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan.
Also feeding Wall Street's gains was data that showed U.S.
factory activity expanded to a two-year high in December. The
dollar index rose to a 14-year high.
At 10:59 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones industrial average
was up 74.48 points, or 0.38 percent, at 19,837.08, the S&P 500
was up 13.72 points, or 0.61 percent, at 2,252.55 and the
Nasdaq Composite was up 32.14 points, or 0.6 percent, at
Ten of the 11 major S&P 500 indexes were higher, with the
defensive real estate and consumer staples
sectors bringing up the rear.
Utilities, another defensive sector, was the only
one in the red.
Marathon Petroleum rose 6.9 percent to $53.7 after
the company said it would explore a spinoff of its retail
business, caving to pressure from activist investor Elliott
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,005
to 870. On the Nasdaq, 1,689 issues rose and 1,032 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 17 new 52-week highs and one new
low, while the Nasdaq recorded 97 new highs and 14 new lows.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by