"A strong start to earnings season lifted optimism and helped the Dow breach 26k for the first time".
United Health rose 2.2 per cent after the largest U.S. health insurer reported results that beat analysts' estimates and raised its full-year profit forecast.
The leading index of USA shares has risen 1,000 points in just 12 days - and six stock market trading sessions, given that Wall Street was closed for Martin Luther King Jr Day on Monday - fuelled by an upswing in the global economy and the prospect of bumper company earnings thanks to Donald Trump's corporate tax cuts. The futures allow investors to make bets on the future price of bitcoin. South Korea's top financial policymaker said Tuesday that banning trading in digital currencies was an option, adding such a move still needed to be reviewed by government ministries. The price of the digital currency, which soared a year ago after starting 2017 under $1,000, has been hurt amid signs of potentially increased scrutiny from governments.
Benchmark U.S. crude fell 57 cents to $63.73 per barrel. Range Resources lost 80 cents, or 4.6 percent, to $16.78.
Merck rose after the drugmaker announced positive results from a clinical trial for a lung cancer treatment.
Fashion house Hugo Boss was among the biggest gainers in Europe, up 3.7 per cent, after it reported a rebound in growth at its own stores, a jump in online sales and a recovery in the United States. Its shares added 21 cents to $44.28.More news: Play behind Vikings' Minnesota Miracle
Germany's 10-year yield decreased three basis points to 0.562 percent. The euro strengthened to $1.2271 from $1.2181. (F) rose 1%, after the auto maker teased an all-electric SUV (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ford-teases-all-electric-mach-1-suv-coming-in-2020-2018-01-14) - the "Mach 1" - on Sunday, saying it will spend $11 billion on electric cars through 2022.
METALS: Gold rose $2.20 to settle at $1,337.10 an ounce. Copper was little changed at $3.22 a pound.
Overseas, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index punched up 1.8% Tuesday to a record closing high.
The Dow made the latest 1,000 point milestone move in a record-setting seven sessions, breaking the previous record of moving 1,000 points in 23 sessions. Core prices had been expected to rise by 0.2 percent.
Inflation and interest rates have remained low around the world, helping to fuel the stock market boom, as the biggest countries' central banks pump billions into their economies through quantitative easing. India's Sensex was unchanged, while markets in New Zealand, Taiwan and Southeast Asia gained.
Alliance Data Systems led the technology sector decliners, shedding $18.30, or 6.6 percent, to $258.07.