U.S. stocks edged higher as an upbeat outlook from UnitedHealth lifted health insurers, though a sharp drop in oil prices weighed on energy shares. Bobbi Rebell reports.
US stocks back on the march upwards with the Nasdaq hitting a new record high a day after stocks had their worst showing in nearly a month. Oil prices fell on signs that leading oil exporters were struggling to agree on a deal to cut production ahead of an OPEC meeting on Wednesday. Keith Bliss of Cuttone and Company : (SOUNDBITE) KEITH BLISS, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, CUTTONE & CO, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Regardless of what OPEC is going to decide tomorrow, that oil is basically stuck, crude oil, whether it is Brent or WTI, it is basically stuck in a range between $40 and $50. I have never been convinced that the Saudis were going to get the Iraqis and the Iranians to play ball on any kind of production cuts, and that is the news that we are hearing today. " UnitedHealthcare shares hit a record high a day after the largest U.S. health insurer issued a better than expected earnings outlook. Tiffany stock up after the upscale jeweler reported its first rise in sales in two years. More people shopped in its stores in Japan and China. The U.S. economy grew faster than initially thought in the third quarter, notching its best performance in two years. Gross domestic product increased at a 3.2 percent annual rate according to the Commerce Department. In Europe, the major indexes were mostly higher helped by a rebound in Italian banks.