NEW YORK – U.S. stocks rose for a second straight session Tuesday as investors took a report showing unexpected strength in the key services sector as signaling that profit growth would withstand the housing market's slowdown.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 47.75 points, or 0.39 percent, to end at 12,331.60. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 5.64 points, or 0.40 percent, at 1,414.76. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 3.99 points, or 0.16 percent, to close at 2,452.38.
During the session, the S&P 500 rose to 1,415.27, its highest level in a little over six years.
Coca-Cola Co. (KO), the world's biggest soft-drink maker, led the Dow Jones industrials higher following positive comments about the stock from two brokerages. Shares of Coca-Cola advanced 2.5 percent and helped boost the S&P 500.
Boeing Co (BA) was the Dow's second-biggest advancer, rising 1.3 percent, on expectations that the big U.S. aircraft manufacturer could win more plane orders.
"The service sector is really what is holding the whole economy together and providing the impetus for growth," said Michael Metz, chief investment strategist at Oppenheimer & Co. in New York.
The report on the services sector — accounting for 84 percent of U.S. employment — followed a Friday report that showed a surprising contraction in the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index in November.
Coke shares jumped 2.5 percent, or $1.17, to $48 on the New York Stock Exchange. A Morgan Stanley analyst said improved sales volumes in Japan were positive for the stock, while a Merrill Lynch analyst boosted his price target for Coke.
Shares of rival PepsiCo Inc. (PEP), which recently announced the acquisition of premium juice maker Naked Juice Co., ended up 2.1 percent, or $1.29, at $64.17, also on the NYSE.
Boeing shares notched their biggest one-day gain in nearly two weeks, rising $1.15 to end at $90.73 on the NYSE.
Citing unnamed sources, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that Germany's Lufthansa could announce as soon as Wednesday that it will order the passenger version of Boeing's updated 747 jumbo jet.
Another notable gainer was Walt Disney Co. (DIS), whose stock finished at a 5-1/2-year high, after its chief financial officer forecast improved margins at the company's theme parks and better profitability at its movie studio.
Disney's stock climbed 2.3 percent, or 76 cents, to end at $34.20 on the NYSE.
On the Nasdaq, Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) climbed 3.6 percent, or $1.36, to $38.74 on news that China may issue its first 3G, or third-generation, cellphone network license as early as this month. Qualcomm was the top advancer in the Nasdaq 100 . It also gave a major lift to the S&P 500.
But the Nasdaq's gains were curbed by a declines among software makers, whose shares have recently been behind some of the advances in the technology sector.
Shares of Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), ended down 0.7 percent, or 20 cents, at $29.13, while the stock of Oracle Corp. — the Nasdaq's top loser — was down 2.2 percent, or 42 cents, at $18.86, and Symantec Corp. , shares were down 2.5 percent, or 53 cents, at $20.62.