A look at the day's business news headlines:
Stocks end mixed after late-day recovery
Stocks closed mixed Tuesday, after making a comeback in the final hour, as investors digested earnings results from a host of blue-chip companies, mixed reports on the U.S. economy and surprisingly slow growth in the United Kingdom.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 3 points, or less than 0.1%, according to early tallies. The S&P 500 closed flat; and the Nasdaq added nearly 2 points to 2,719.
Stocks opened lower after government data showed the U.K. economy shrank unexpectedly in the fourth quarter. The selling gained momentum as investors responded to dour quarterly results from 3M, Johnson & Johnson and American Express.
But upbeat results from Travelers helped curb some of the selling. The insurance giant reported a 30% drop in quarterly net income, but issued an
optimistic outlook for the rest of the year.
Treasuries hold gains after 2-year note auction
Treausury prices continued to stand firm Tuesday following the sale of $35 billion in 2-year Treasury notes but remained in a narrow range as investors digested mixed economic news.
The price on the benchmark 10-year note rose slightly, pushing the yield down to 3.38% from 3.41% late Monday. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions. The yield on the 30-year bond fell to 4.53%, while the yield on the 2-year note edged down to to 0.63%. The 5-year note's yield slipped to 2.00%.
Treasuries got an early boost after the British government reported that the U.K. economy unexpectedly contracted during the fourth quarter of 2010 and an industry report showed that home prices continued to slump in November. The worse-than-expected data increased demand for government bonds, which are considered safe haven investments and are more attractive in a rocky economy.
- CNNMoney.com reporters Ben Rooney and Hibah Yousuf contributed to this report.