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By Sinead Carew NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks closed higher on Tuesday despite mixed U.S. economic data as treasury yields and the dollar declined while oil prices were choppy ahead of an OPEC meeting later this week. The euro bounced back from a multi-month low against the U.S. dollar on strong European data and as investors pared bets that the European Central Bank will soon ease policy further. After falling 0.5 percent on Monday, the S&P 500 benchmark index of stocks closed at its highest since early November as investors gained confidence on the first day of the month.
Powerful Iraqi Shi'ite Muslim armed groups on Tuesday pledged to fight any U.S. forces deployed in the country after the United States said it was sending an elite special unit to help combat Islamic State. Defense Secretary Ash Carter offered few details on the new "expeditionary" group, but said it would be larger than the roughly 50 U.S. special operations troops being sent to Syria to fight the ultra-hardline Sunni militants there. A U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the new force will be based in Iraq.
By Phil Stewart and Yeganeh Torbati WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States said on Tuesday it was deploying a new force of special operations troops to Iraq to conduct raids against Islamic State there and in neighboring Syria, a ratcheting up of Washington's campaign against the group that was quickly rejected by Iraq's government. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the deployment of such a force was not acceptable without Iraq's approval, raising questions over how closely Washington coordinated the plan with Baghdad. Powerful Shi'ite Muslim armed groups pledged to fight any new deployment of U.S. forces to the country.