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Mining sector helps lift Nasdaq to new highs

US stocks posted solid gains on Tuesday, sending the Standard & Poor's 500 index and Nasdaq composite to all-time highs.

Mining and other materials sector companies rose more than the rest of the market.

The sector could benefit from initiatives by the White House to streamline the permitting process for manufacturing and clear the way for pipeline construction.

Financial stocks also rose sharply. Energy companies climbed as crude oil prices closed higher.

The rally also swept up stocks in US homebuilders.

Health care, phone companies and other high-dividend stocks were among the most sluggish as bond yields rose.

While several big companies reported quarterly earnings, investors focused on the latest batch of executive actions from President Donald Trump.

"The importance of this earnings season has been dimmed only because we all realise there's going to be some changes in policy," said JJ Kinahan, TD Ameritrade's chief strategist.

"Now you're trading on the edicts, or whatever they may be, that are coming out of the White House."

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 112.86 points, or 0.6%, to 19,912.71.

The S&P 500 index gained 14.87 points, or 0.7%, to 2,280.07. That's the highest close for the index since January 6.

The Nasdaq added 48.01 points, or 0.9%, to 5,600.96. That's the highest close for the tech-heavy index since January 13.

Small-company stocks outpaced the rest of the market. The Russell 2000 jumped 21.37 points, or 1.6%, to 1,369.21.

AP

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