NEW YORK (
) -- 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
gained 3 points, or 0.2%, to 1118 and the
finished higher by 7 points, or 0.3%, to 2281.
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Stocks traded in the green for much of the session, but investors took profits late in the afternoon. Big tech names, including
, 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.