NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks finished higher on Tuesday, pushing the S&P 500 within striking distance of its all-time high, as strong data on home prices and manufacturing fed optimism about the economy, although the improvements were seen as slow. The Dow Jones industrial average shot up 111.74 points, or 0.77 percent, to end unofficially at 14,559.49. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 12.08 points, or 0.78 percent, to finish unofficially at 1,563.77 – just 1.38 points below its record closing high set in 2007. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 17.18 points, or 0. …
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