landsberg bennettStocks finished higher Wednesday. The Dow added 171 points to 24,575 while the S&P 500 climbed 5 points to 2,638 The Nasdaq Composite gained 5 points to 7,025.

The major averages fluctuated throughout the session as generally positive corporate earnings overcame concerns surrounding trade relations and the ongoing partial government shutdown. On the data front, separate updates on the housing market showed mortgage applications dipped 2.7% in the prior week while U.S. home prices rose 0.4% in November. An additional survey showed manufacturing activity in the Richmond Fed district contracted in-line with expectations in January.

Nine of 11 S&P 500 sectors finished higher as Consumer Staples paced gains. Shares of Procter & Gamble climbed 4.9% to $94.84 after beating Wall Street profit projections. In other earnings news, IBM jumped 8.5% to $132.90 while United Technologies added 5.4% to $117.04 after both companies topped earnings forecasts and raised full-year guidance. Abbot Laboratories slipped 2.2% to $69.91 after revealing revenue below forecasts as pharmaceutical sales declined in the fourth-quarter. Shares of Tesla slipped 3.8% to $287.59 after the electric vehicle maker was the subject of an analyst downgrade.

Breadth was roughly even on both the NYSE and the Nasdaq. Composite NYSE Volume totaled more than 3.2 billion shares.

Treasuries were little changed as the yield on the 10-year note climbed was flat at 2.75%. In commodities, WTI crude slipped 0.8% to $52.60/barrel. COMEX gold lost 0.1% to $1282.60/ounce despite a weaker dollar.