US STOCKS-S&P 500 scores first close above 2,000; data helps

Reuters - UK Focus

* U.S. consumer confidence hits highest since October 2007

* Best Buy tumbles after results, DSW rises

* Digital Ally (NasdaqCM: DGLY - news) gains further, up over 250 pct in August

* Dow up 0.2 pct; S&P 500 up 0.1 pct; Nasdaq up 0.3 pct (Updates to close)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Aug 26 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged higher onTuesday to lift the S&P 500 just a hair above the 2,000 mark,its first close above that milestone, after data that pointed toa brighter future for the economy.

Energy shares, which closely track the pace of growth, ledthe day's gain. The S&P energy index rose 0.5 percentand ranked as the best performer of the 10 major S&P sectors.

The S&P 500 hit an intraday high of 2,005.04, climbing abovethe 2,000 mark for the second straight day. On Monday, though,the benchmark could not hold on to that mark and ended at1,997.92. With Tuesday's move, both the Dow and the S&P 500 haverisen in 10 of the past 13 sessions, while the Nasdaq is up for11 of the past 13 sessions.

However, much of the market's recent gains have come on lowvolume, suggesting that many traders may be reluctant to jump inat current levels.

"We will have to wait and see. Volume this week is verylight; we have a lot of people still on vacation. Buteconomically and fundamentally, it is a good picture," said JeffKravetz, regional investment director at U.S. Bank WealthManagement in Phoenix (LSE: PHNX.L - news) .

U.S. consumer confidence rose more than expected in August,climbing to its highest since October 2007, according to theConference Board, an industry group. The Commerce Departmentreported that U.S. durable goods orders jumped 22.6 percent inJuly, the biggest gain on record, though the number was skewedby strong international demand for aircraft.

"Even (Taiwan OTC: 6436.TWO - news) though that (durables) number is lopsided and kind ofskews the picture, when you have more aircraft orders and autosales, in the long run, those are positives. That shows theeconomy is recovering and there are some good prospects,"Kravetz said.

The market's trend higher is still seen as intact. The S&P500's price-to-earnings ratio is within historical norms,leading many analysts to believe stocks are not overvalued.Nonetheless, further pronounced gains may be a challenge becauseof potential headwinds such as a reduction in Federal Reservestimulus and a simmering conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 29.83 points or0.17 percent, to end at 17,106.70. The S&P 500 gained2.10 points or 0.11 percent, to close at 2,000.02, a recordhigh. The Nasdaq Composite added 13.29 points or 0.29percent, to finish at 4,570.64.

The Dow industrials had touched a record intraday high of17,153.80 during Tuesday's session.

Best Buy Co Inc shares slid 6.9 percent to $29.80after the electronics retailer reported second-quarter revenuethat missed expectations and forecast a drop in same-store salesin the second half of the year. But DSW Inc jumped 9.2percent to $30.99 after the shoe and accessory retailer'sadjusted quarterly earnings topped forecasts.

Digital Ally Inc extended its meteoric rise,surging another 14.2 percent to $14.28 on heavy volume. Therecent fatal police shooting of an unarmed black teenager inMissouri has fueled interest in the company's wearable camera,and the stock's price has nearly quadrupled this month alone. Inc agreed late Monday to buylive-streaming gaming network Twitch Interactive for about $970million in cash. Amazon's stock rose 2.3 percent to $341.83 andgave the biggest boost to the Nasdaq 100 index.

Volume was light, with about 4.25 billion shares traded onU.S. exchanges, well below the 5.44 billion average so far thismonth, according to data from BATS Global Markets.

Advancing stocks outnumbered declining ones by a ratio ofabout 2 to 1 on both the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq. (Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Jan Paschal)

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