NEW YORK, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks extended record runs on the last trading day of 2013 Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 ending the blockbuster year with the biggest gains in more than one decade.
The Dow rose 72.37 points, or 0.44 percent, to 16,576.66. The S& P 500 added 7.29 points, or 0.40 percent, to 1,848.36. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 22.39 points, or 0.54 percent, to 4,176. 59.
The blue-chip Dow and the broader S&P 500 refreshed their record highs once again, notching their best yearly gains since 1995 and 1997, respectively.
The Dow and S&P 500 ended 2013 up 26.5 percent and 29.6 percent, while the Nasdaq skyrocketed 38.3 percent, the biggest gain since 2009.
"(The Market) far better than I thought they would do when the year started," Gordon Charlop, managing director at Rosenblatt Securities Inc., told Xinhua Tuesday, impressed with the breadth of the gains in all sectors in 2013.
Charlop attributed the strong market to a combination of factors, including the U.S. Federal Reserve's friendly policy to investors, improvement in the overall U.S. economy, some reduction in unemployment rate, stability in housing market, lower inflation and continuing corporate earnings growth.
He believed the factors driving the market now would stay in place for the Wall Street to continue moving higher next year.
Wall Street gained momentum from a pair of positive data.
U.S. home prices continued to rise in October, according to a report released Tuesday by S&P Dow Jones Indices for its S&P/Case- Shiller Home Price Indices.
Data showed the 10-City and 20-City Composite posted year-over- year gain of 13.6 percent, their highest gain since February 2006 and the 17th consecutive month that both composites increased on an annual basis.
Meanwhile, U.S. consumer confidence rebounded more than expected in December, standing at 78.1, up from an upwardly revised level of 72.0 in November, the New York-based research organization Conference Board said in a report released Tuesday. The index also surpassed market expectation.
The Chicago Purchasing Managers' Index fell short of analysts' estimates but posed little downward pressure to the stock market.
The December Chicago Business Barometer softened to 59.1 from 63.0 in November, but still above the dividing level of 50 between expansion and contraction, the Institute for Supply Management, a global supply management association, reported Tuesday.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered as a fear gauge of the market, advanced 1.18 percent to finish at 13.72.
In other markets, oil prices on Tuesday dropped for a second consecutive day as the U.S. dollar rallied against other currencies in light trading conditions.
Light, sweet crude for February delivery lost 87 cents to settle at 98.42 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for February delivery decreased 41 cents to close at 110.8 dollars a barrel.
For 2013, the U.S. crude rallied 7.2 percent while Brent crude inched down 0.3 percent.
In late New York trading, the euro dropped to 1.3754 dollars from 1.3804 dollars of the previous session, and the dollar bought 105.26 Japanese yen, higher than 105.11 yen of the previous session.
Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange settled slightly lower Tuesday.
The most active gold contract for February delivery fell 1.5 dollars, or 0.12 percent, to settle at 1,202.3 dollars per ounce. This was 28 percent lower than the most active contract's close a year earlier, its first loss since 2000, and its worst loss in about three decades, FactSet data showed.