U.S. stocks closed mixed Tuesday, with health care leading decliners and energy leading as oil settled above $50 a barrel for the first time since July.
The S&P 500 still closed at its highest since July 22, although the major averages ended well off session highs. The Nasdaq composite closed mildly lower with the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) falling 2.56 percent.
"Right now it's a struggle to find a real catalyst to move higher," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.
Energy closed more than 2 percent higher to lead advancers. U.S. crude oil futures settled up 67 cents, or 1.35 percent, at $50.36 a barrel, its first settle above $50 since July 21.
Intraday, the Dow briefly topped the psychologically key 18,000 level for the first time since April 28, while the S&P 500 traded at highs not seen since July 21.
"We stalled out below 2,100 for so many times (that closing above it yesterday is) dragging some new money in, dragging some shorts to cover. ... Then you can throw in the fact that interest rates continue to remain low," said Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at RW Baird.