NEW YORK (
TheStreet) -- The major market averages edged higher Tuesday, weighed by blue-chip technology stocks, after investors digested auto sales figures and commodities made sharp gains.
Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 2 points, or 0.02%, to 10,406. The
S&P 500 gained 3 points, or 0.2%, to 1118 and the
Nasdaq finished higher by 7 points, or 0.3%, to 2281.
>>Apple, H-P: Top Computer-Hardware Stocks
Stocks traded in the green for much of the session, but investors took profits late in the afternoon. Big tech names, including
(IBM), dragged on the Dow more than stocks in most other sectors by the end of the day.
Market observers took in a range of car sales numbers throughout the day. Overall industry sales landed in-line with expectations, coming to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 10.38 million units, according to Autodata.
said February U.S. auto sales rose 11.5% year over year. The company also said it would recall 1.3 million cars to fix a power-steering problem and earlier in the session announced it would triple funding for the turnaround of its
Opel and Vauxhall divisions
in Europe to 1.9 billion euros ($2.57 billion).
slipped 19 cents, or 1.5%, to $12.22 by the closing bell. Still, the automaker surpassed GM on a 43% surge in February sales.
Snowstorms and recalls hurt
(TM - Get Report)
sales, which slid 9%. But Toyota shares added 78 cents, or 1.1%, to $74.42.
shares slipped 10 cents, or 0.3%, to $34.87 and
advanced by 57 cents, or 1.3%, to $42.96 after each reported improving February sales.
turned lower against a basket of currencies in the afternoon, with the dollar index down by 0.2%.
In commodities markets, crude oil for April delivery traded 98 cents higher to settle at $79.68 a barrel, and the April
contract gained $19.10 to settle at $1,137.40 an ounce.
The upbeat commodity moves likely lent a hand to material and energy stocks, as the Philadelphia Gold and Silver Index and the Philadelphia Oil Service Sector Index improved 2.4% and 1.4%, respectively.