Stocks rose on Tuesday, led by financials, as investors remained unfazed by geopolitical tensions, while the Dow Jones industrial average kept marching toward 20,000.
At session highs, the blue-chips index came within 13 points of hitting the milestone mark, before closing 90 points higher, after hitting a new intraday high, with Goldman Sachs contributing the most gains. The Dow also ended around 25 points away from 20,000.
"We have to put this move into perspective," said Adam Sarhan, CEO at 50 Park Investments. "It's not just about hitting 20,000. We've had a very strong rally since the election." Since Nov. 8, the Dow has surged more than 8 percent and has posted 17 record closes.
The S&P 500 rose 0.3 percent, with financials rising more than 1 percent. The Nasdaq composite advanced 0.5 percent, also reaching a new all-time high earlier in the session.
"I think the reason we came out higher is because there was no economic data and volume is pretty light," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial. "The absence of any macro news has given the bulls total control of the market today."
Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities, said "you'll be hard pressed to find a catalyst ... until we flip the calendar." "We're running out of things that can trip us up."
The U.S. composite volume totaled 6.17 billion shares on Monday, the lowest since Nov. 25, when only 3 billion shares were traded, as the Christmas holiday approached. "As we go deeper into the week, the volume will continue to fall off," said said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial. "That's important because any strong headline can skew the market in one direction or another."