Almost 20,000: A record close (but no cigar) for Dow

Stocks set new records Tuesday on Wall Street, as the Dow Jones industrials index a couple of times came ever so close to the 20,000 mark during the day before closing short of it by a slender 26 points. Big gains by banks and travel companies propelled the Dow ever closer to the symbolic 20,000 level.

The blue-chip index gained 92 points on the day, or 0.5 percent, to close at 19,974.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 8 points, or 0.4 percent, ending at 2,271. The Nasdaq composite gained 27 points, or 0.5 percent, finishing at 5,484.

The Dow and Nasdaq both set new all-time highs at the close, while the S&P 500 was just a point shy of its own new record.

Bond yields rose taking interest rates higher. That helped financial firms. Goldman Sachs (GS) rose 1.7 percent and Regions Financial (RF) rose 2.1 percent.

Strong earnings from cruise line operator Carnival (CCL) lifted its shares 2.3 percent.

Cheerios maker General Mills (GIS) cut its sales projections for the year, sending its shares down 2.6 percent.