January 3, 2017 / 5:54 PM / in a year

US STOCKS-Wall St pares some gains as oil prices drop

* Brent crude reverses course after hitting 18-month high

* Dollar hits 14-year high following robust economic data

* Verizon rises on Citigroup upgrade

* Indexes up: Dow 0.17 pct, S&P 0.42 pct, Nasdaq 0.42 pct (Updates to early afternoon)

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

Jan 3 (Reuters) - Wall Street rose on Tuesday as a post-election rally extended into the new year, but stocks pared some of their early gains after oil prices lost ground due to a strong dollar.

Oil prices fell from their 18-month high and were down more than 2 percent as the dollar surged to a 14-year high, supported by strong U.S. manufacturing data.

The retreat in stocks meant the Dow Jones Industrial Average pulled further away from the elusive 20,000 mark.

The Dow came within a hair’s breadth of the historic milestone in December as investors bet that President-elect Donald Trump would introduce market friendly policies such as tax cuts and simpler regulation.

The average rose to as much as 19,938.53 earlier in the session on Tuesday, helped by Goldman Sachs and Walt Disney.

At 12:31 p.m. ET (1731 GMT), the Dow Jones was up 34.3 points, or 0.17 percent, at 19,796.9, the S&P 500 was up 9.49 points, or 0.42 percent, at 2,248.32 and the Nasdaq Composite index was up 22.74 points, or 0.42 percent, at 5,405.86.

“The market is picking up where it left off since the Trump presidency,” said Thomas Wilson, senior investment manager at Brinker Capital.

“What you are seeing is the market moving up in anticipation of fiscal expansion and a potential reflation trade that will replace what has been a monetary policy-driven market for the last several years.”

Tech stocks were the main drivers of the gains on Wall Street on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 technology sector rising 0.5 percent and giving the broader index its biggest boost.

Healthcare stocks followed, with a 0.86 percent rise.

Ten of the 11 major S&P 500 indexes were higher, with the defensive real estate and consumer staples sectors bringing up the rear.

Utilities, another defensive sector, was the only one in the red.

Verizon gave the biggest boost to the S&P, rising 2.1 percent after Citigroup upgraded the stock to “buy”.

Marathon Petroleum rose 5.2 percent to $52.99 after the company said it would explore a spinoff of its retail business, caving to pressure from activist investor Elliott Management.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,974 to 931. On the Nasdaq, 1,595 issues rose and 1,240 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed 17 new 52-week highs and one new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 106 new highs and 16 new lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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