Some highlights from the day's business news:
After rocky day, stocks end mixed
After a tumultuous day, U.S. stocks ended mixed Tuesday as investors mulled over reports on auto sales, factory orders and the Federal Reserve's December meeting.
Stocks struggled for direction all day. After losing as much as 0.3% mid-day, the Dow Jones industrial average ended the session up 20 points, closing at a fresh two-year high of 11,691.
Meanwhile, the S&P 500 was down 2 points, or 0.1%; and the Nasdaq fell 10 points, or 0.4%.
Throughout the day, investors weighed a better-than-expected factory orders report with concerns that stocks may be overextended, after posting double-digit percentage gains in 2010.
December auto sales raise hopes for 2011
Most automakers ended a challenging 2010 with a strong sales month, raising hopes that the industry could be carrying some momentum into the new year.
American automakers General Motors, Ford Motor and Chrysler Group all posted solid gains that met or topped forecasts. Ford's gains in 2010 allowed it to recapture the position of No. 2 automaker in U.S. sales, trailing only
GM, for the first time since 2006, reclaiming the spot from Toyota Motor.
Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co., which operates the Hyundai and Kia brands in the United States, continued to make gains in the U.S. market, and Japanese automakers Honda and Nissan both ended the year with strong sales.
Treasuries close little changed
Treasury prices were little changed Tuesday following the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest policy
Those minutes revealed that policymakers at the Fed were divided in their outlook for the economy, suggesting that the central bank is unlikely to change direction any time soon.
The yield on the benchmark U.S. Treasury 10-year note edged up to 3.33%. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions. The yield on the 30-year bond was slightly higher at 4.41%, while the two-year note's yield hovered at 0.61%. The yield on the five-year note rose slightly to 2%.
CNNMoney.com reporters Annalyn Censky, Chris Isidore and Blake Ellis contributed to this report.