landsberg bennettStocks advanced on Tuesday. The Dow added 108 points to 24,748, while the S&P 500 was up 8 points to 2,682. The Nasdaq Composite gained less than a point to close at 7,082.

The major averages finished higher as investors digested a series of conflicting reports on the state of trade negotiations between the U.S. and China.  On the data front, a report showed U.S. consumer confidence eased slightly from an 18-year high in September. Separately, a report showed U.S. home prices increased at the slowest pace in nearly two years in September. 

Eight of 11 S&P 500 sectors finished in positive territory with Health Care and Consumer Staples shares outperforming. Microsoft became the most valuable publically traded company in the world, with Tuesday’s 0.4% advance to $106.94 pushing the company’s market capitalization above Apple, which fell 0.3% to $174.10. Materials lagged as the Bloomberg Commodity Index fell to its lowest level since June 2017. COMEX gold declined 0.7% to $1,213.60, while copper and silver prices both dipped more than 1%. Industrials also lagged, with United Technologies falling 4.4% to $122.41 after announcing it will split into three independent companies.

Breadth was negative on issues by 5:3 on the NYSE and by 2:1 on the Nasdaq. Composite NYSE Volume was more than 3.4 billion shares.

Treasuries were essentially unchanged, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year note finishing at 3.06% after Fed Vice Chair Clarida emphasized the importance of the FOMC being “data dependent.”