Dow finishes up, Nasdaq down amid thin trading
NEW YORK: Stocks closed barely changed Tuesday amid light trading ahead of the New Year's holiday.
The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average finished slightly higher, though stocks had dipped earlier on disappointing consumer confidence and home prices reports.
The Dow edged up after Treasury prices fell in the wake of a weak bond auction in the afternoon. Fewer than expected buyers emerged for the government's auction of $35 billion five-year bonds. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 3.49 percent from 3.34 percent late Monday.
The Dow closed the day higher by 20.51 points, or 0.2 percent, to 11,575.54. It was the highest close for the index since August 28, 2008.
The Standard and Poor's 500 index was up 0.97, or less than 0.1 percent, to 1,258.51. The technology-focused Nasdaq composite index lost 4.39, or 0.2 percent, to 2,662.88. Earlier in the day, the Conference Board announced that consumer confidence in the economy slid to a level of 52.5 in December, down from 54.3 in November, as Americans continued to fret about the high rate of unemployment. -Ap