landsberg bennettStocks finished mixed Tuesday. The Dow gained 51 points to 24,579 while the S&P 500 eased 3 points to 2,640. The Nasdaq composite lost 57 points to 7,028.

The major averages struggled for traction as investors sorted through a flurry of corporate updates. Trade relations also remained in focus after the U.S. Department of Justice announced it had filed charges against a top executive at Chinese tech-giant Huawei. On the data front, a report from the Conference Board showed U.S. consumer confidence fell for a third consecutive month in December. An update of the S&P/Case Shiller 20-City index showed home prices rose 4.7% year-over-year in November, the slowest annual growth rate in four years.

Seven of 11 S&P 500 sectors finished in positive territory with Industrials the best performing group. Shares of 3M added 1.9% to $196.95 after topping consensus profit projections. Technology stocks underperformed as Microsoft slipped 2.0% to $102.94 and Apple eased 1.0% to $154.68. Communication Services also finished broadly lower as Verizon slipped 3.3% to $53.28 after the wireless provider missed revenue projections. In other earnings news, Allergan lost 8.6% to $145.12 after the pharmaceutical company lowered its current quarter guidance.

Breadth was positive on issues by 4:3 on the NYSE and negative on issues by 11:5 on the Nasdaq. Composite NYSE Volume totaled more than 3.4 billion shares.

Treasuries were stronger with the yield on the 10-year note falling three basis points to 2.71%. In commodities, NYMEX WTI crude rebounded 2.3% to $53.18/barrel. COMEX gold added 0.5% to 1,309.90/ounce.