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The Dow closed at a record high, just short of the 17,000-point milestone, as stocks surged on Tuesday after reports of expansion in U.S. manufacturing and better-than-expected sales for major U.S. automakers. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended unofficially 129 points higher at 16,956.07, eclipsing its June 20 record of 16,947.08. The S&P 500 also closed at a record high, climbing 13 points to 1973.32, and the Nasdaq added 50 points, or more than 1.1 percent. Tuesday's economic reports had the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index coming in at 55.3 in June, nearly unchanged from May's 55.4 reading. But new orders rose to a six-month high. A separate report had construction spending up 0.1 percent in May. General Motors eked out a modest 1 percent sales increase in June, despite the ongoing recall crisis and the rest of the automotive pack reported sales rose last month.

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- Kate Gibson,