CLOSING BELL

DOW CLOSES UP 27, NASDAQ FINISHES DOWN 5

Wall Street finished an erratic session mixed Tuesday with the Dow Jones industrials reaching a third straight record close despite concerns about corporate profits and the impact of falling oil prices.

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street finished an erratic session mixed Tuesday with the Dow Jones industrials reaching a third straight record close despite concerns about corporate profits and the impact of falling oil prices.

The market wavered in and out of positive territory for much of the day, before the Dow had a late-session advance.

Investors struggled to digest a drop in oil prices, which fell to a 19-month low near $51 a barrel on a report that OPEC leader Saudi Arabia said there may be no need for further production cuts. The statement immediately punished shares of major oil and gasoline companies.

Investors kept a wary eye on corporate announcements as earnings reporting season entered its first big week. The first wave of reports have already shown strength, with Wells Fargo & Co. and TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. posting robust results.

But the market grew uneasy after several profit warnings from companies including home builder Centex Corp. and software maker Symantec Corp. Investors also digested a report from the New York Federal Reserve indicated the pace of manufacturing in its region reached its lowest level since summer of 2005, although that appeared to have little effect on trading.

“The markets have had a big run-up, and it is really trying to continue on a positive pace while also alleviating some of the over bought characteristics before earnings really get going,” said Scott Fullman, director of investment strategy for Hapoalim Securities USA. “Lower oil has brought back confidence to the consumer, but the Dow has been hurt as it struggles with the drop in big oil companies.”

BRAND CONNECTIONS

According to preliminary calculations, the Dow rose 26.51, or 0.21 percent, to 12,582.59. The index reached a new trading high of 12,585.08 earlier in the session.

Broader stock indicators were mixed. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up 1.17, or 0.08 percent, at 1,431.90, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 5.04, or 0.20 percent, to 2,497.78.


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