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Health insurers lead stocks higher

Apr. 03, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

NEW YORK -- The Dow Jones industrial average closed at a record high Tuesday after reports on auto sales and factory orders provided the latest evidence that the U.S. economy is strengthening. Traders plowed money back into European stocks as the financial situation in Cyprus appeared to stabilize.

Health insurers powered the gains a day after the government released revised reimbursement rates for Medicare Advantage plans. The new numbers suggest that funding cuts will be less severe than analysts and companies had feared.

The Dow closed up 89.16 points, or 0.6 percent, at 14,662.01. It had risen as high as 14,684 in the late morning.

The Dow broke through an all-time record on March 5. It has risen steadily since then, routinely setting new trading highs.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 8.08 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,570.25. It rose to within two points of its trading high of 1,576 reached on Oct. 11, 2007.

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