NEW YORK, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks closed mixed on Tuesday, with Dow Jones Industrial Average and Standard & Poor's 500-stock Index climbing to five-year highs amid mixed economic data.
The Dow and S&P 500 climbed steadily despite mixed economic data. As of Tuesday, the Dow was just one-and-half percent below its historic high.
The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, a broadly watched housing indicator, showed that home prices rose 5.5 percent in 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas in November from the same period of last year.
Meanwhile, consumer confidence index in the United States dropped to 58.6 in January, the lowest since November 2011, as higher payroll taxes took a bigger bite out of Americans' paychecks, according to data released by the Conference Board Tuesday.
The Dow was boosted by the index component Pfizer. The world largest drug company shares jumped 3.20 percent to 27.70 U.S. dollars after the company posted on Tuesday its fourth-quarter revenues which were 6.3 billion U.S. dollars, or 85 cents a share, compared with 1.4 billion dollars, or 19 cents, in the year-ago period.
However,the Nasdaq traded in red territory in most of the session as several index components dipped after reporting earnings. VMware shares plunged 21.54 percent to 77.14 dollars after the software producer forecast its full-year 2013 revenue, short of market expectations.
Apple, which makes up nearly 10 percent of the Nasdaq, failed to retake control of the index. Apple shares added 1.88 percent to 458.27 dollars after the tech giant announced a 128GB version of its fourth generation iPad device.
Valero Energy shares leapt 12.78 percent to 43.77 dollars, pushing the energy sector higher. The world's largest independent refiner by processing capacity said Tuesday its fourth- quarter profit rose 20-fold as the company boosted its use of discounted U. S. crude.
Ford shares sank 4.64 percent to 13.14 dollars though the giant auto maker reported earnings before the opening bell that beat analysts' estimates. The company said that its losses in Europe would be bigger than it had previously expected.
Shares of Amazon went up about 10 percent in after-hours trading shortly after the closing bell after the world's largest online retailer reported quarterly profit that beat market expectations.
The Dow rallied 72.49 points, or 0.52 percent, to 13,954.42. The S&P 500 jumped 7.66 points, or 0.51 percent, to 1,507.84. The Nasdaq edged down 0.64 points, or 0.02 percent, to 3,153.66.
The Federal Reserve began a two-day meeting Tuesday, with investors awaiting the release of their statement Wednesday for clues about the outlook for monetary policies.
Light, sweet crude for March delivery gained 1.17 percent to settle at 97.57 dollars a barrel on Tuesday, the highest since Sept. 17, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Brent crude for March delivery rose 0.78 percent to close at 114.36 dollars a barrel, the highest since Oct. 15.
The U.S. dollar retreated against major currencies on Tuesday as there were signs that euro-zone economic situation was improving and data showed U.S. consumer confidence slipped again in January.
Gold for February delivery on the COMEX gained 0.48 percent to settle at 1,660.8 dollars per ounce.