NEW YORK - Stocks overcame an early stumble Tuesday and finished modestly higher as investors shook off concerns about heightened tensions in the Middle East and a drop in consumer confidence.
The price of oil spiked after Turkey shot down a Russian fighter plane that Turkey said had violated its airspace and ignored warnings. Energy stocks including Exxon Mobil and Chevron moved higher along with the price of oil. Travel-related stocks including airlines, cruise operators and such booking sites as Expedia slumped.
The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 19.51 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,812.19. The Standard & Poor's 500 index added 2.55 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,089.14. The Nasdaq composite index inched up 0.33 points to 5,102.81.
Domestically, a business research group said consumer confidence in the United States sank this month as Americans worried about the state of the job market. The Conference Board said consumer confidence fell to its lowest level in a year. Consumer discretionary stocks including Netflix and Amazon slipped following the report.
Crude oil rose $1.12, or 2.7 percent, to $42.87 a barrel in New York. That followed a 3.4 percent jump on Monday. Before that, the price of U.S. crude had fallen to its lowest level since August. Brent crude rose $1.29, or 2.9 percent, to $46.12 a barrel in London.
In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline climbed 7.7 cents, or 5.8 percent, to $1.39 a gallon. Heating oil rose 2.5 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $1.40 a gallon. Natural gas missed out on the rally and lost 1 cent to $2.20 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Energy stocks rose 2.1 percent, by far the largest gain in the S&P 500 index. Exxon Mobil rose $1.60, or 2 percent, to $81.88 and Chevron gained $1.34, or 1.5 percent, to $81.35.
The State Department advised travelers that groups including the Islamic State, al Qaeda and Boko Haram continue to plan terrorist attacks, and Americans should be particularly alert around the holidays. Cowen & Co. analyst Helane Becker said bookings might slump after that warning, but if there's a dip, it probably won't last long.
Priceline sank $24.14, or 1.9 percent, to $1,240.18 and competitor Expedia shed $3.65, or 3.7 percent, to $121.27. Among airlines, United lost $1.76, or 3 percent, to $56.80 and Southwest dropped $1.24, or 2.6 percent, to $46.23. Royal Caribbean lost $2.91, or 3.1 percent, to $92.02 and Carnival gave up $1, or 2 percent, to $50.39.
Metals prices, which have tumbled to six-year lows, made some gains. Gold rebounded $7, or 0.7 percent, to $1,073.80 an ounce. The price of silver rose for only the third time in November, adding 12.7 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $14.159 an ounce. Copper picked up 3.4 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $2.055 a pound.
The euro rose to $1.0655 from $1.0625. The dollar fell to 122.44 yen from 122.85 yen. Bond prices didn't move much. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.25 percent from 2.24 percent.