NEW YORK, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- U.S. stock markets closed mixed Tuesday with the Standard & Poor's 500 index within striking distance of an all-time closing high.
Such a statement was routine in 2013. The Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P index hit numerous closing highs last year, ending on Dec. 31 in dramatic fashion with highs for each.
But 2014 started out rocky, at best, and the markets have only recently begun to regain traction.
The S&P index closed Tuesday within 9 points of its apex at 1,840.76 points, up 0.12 percent on a gain of 2.13 points. The tech-dominated Nasdaq index gained 28.76 points, 0.68 percent, to reach 4,272.78. But the Dow, which opened the year at 16,576.66, is still spinning its wheels a bit, dropping 23.99 points Tuesday, 0.15 percent, to settle at 16,130.40, though well above its low point for the year, 15,372.80 on Feb. 3.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 2,050 issues advanced while 1,050 declined. On the New York Stock Exchange, trading was moderate with 3.4 billion shares trading hands.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index added 450.13 points, 3.13 percent, to 14,843.24. In London, the FTSE 100 index added 60.43 points, 0.9 percent, to 6,796.43.
The 10-year U.S. treasury rose 11/32 to yield 2.71 percent.
The dollar was higher against the euro at $1.3758. The yen was lower at 102.37 yen.
Gold gained $21.80, reaching $1,321.90 per ounce on the Comex exchange. Silver added $1.535 to reach $21.93, up 7.53 percent.
Crude oil gained $2.37 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, reaching $102.70 in late trading.
On the Chicago Board of Trade March delivery corn hit $4.4975 per bushel, up 4.5 cents. Soybeans added 23.75 cents to $13.6125. Wheat gained 12.5 cents to reach $6.11.