Record High for the Dow

Blue chips are little changed, but tech shares are solidly lower.
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Updated from 4:04 p.m. EDT

Stocks put in a mixed Tuesday as traders seemed willing to await the outcome of the two-day

Federal Reserve

meeting before putting fresh capital to work.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

rose 10.97 points, or 0.09%, and reached another record close at 12,127.88. Half of the Dow's 30 components finished with gains, led by

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

and

Honeywell

(HON) - Get Report

.

The

S&P 500

tacked on 0.36 points, or 0.03%, at 1377.38, and the

Nasdaq Composite

shed 10.72 points, or 0.46%, to 2344.84, pressured by a 5.6% drop in

Tellabs

(TLAB)

.

Stocks hung around the breakeven line for most of the session as the Fed began the first day of a two-day policy meeting. The vast majority of analysts expect the central bank to keep its target fed funds rate unchanged at 5.25% for the third straight gathering.

"Everybody is waiting around for tomorrow's Fed announcement and no one seemed to take a stance ahead of the decision," said Edgar Peters, chief investment officer with Pan Agora. "Until we get a bias from the Fed, we may continue to drift."

Volume improved from Monday's levels. About 2.80 billion shares changed hands on the

New York Stock Exchange

. Advancers beat decliners by a 9-to-7 margin. Volume on the Nasdaq was roughly 1.90 billion shares, with losers outpacing winners 3 to 2.

Among Tuesday's big earnings reports was chemicals giant and Dow component

DuPont

(DD) - Get Report

. The company said it earned $485 million, or 52 cents a share, for the quarter ended Sept. 30, reversing a year-ago loss. Excluding items, earnings of 49 cents topped estimates by 4 cents. Revenue rose 7% from a year ago to $6.31 billion and was also better than expected. DuPont rose 55 cents, or 1.2%, to $46.

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Lucent

(LU)

got past Wall Street's fourth-quarter targets and said it should close the merger with

Alcatel

(ALA)

by the end of the year.

Separately, Alcatel said its third-quarter earnings fell to 14 cents an American depositary share from 24 cents a year earlier. Sales rose 6.3% from the same quarter a year earlier. Lucent jumped by 15 cents, or 6.4%, to close at $2.49.

Defense contractor

Lockheed Martin

(LMT) - Get Report

was on the rise after reporting third-quarter results and raising its guidance. The company posted earnings of $629 million, or $1.46 a share, up 47% from a year earlier. Profits handily beat estimates, but sales fell short of forecasts. Lockheed added 92 cents, or 1%, to $89.11.

Rival

Northrop Grumman

(NOC) - Get Report

said it had third-quarter net income of $302 million, or 86 cents a share, up slightly from the year-ago quarter. However, Northrop said its full-year earnings and revenue would be below the Thomson First Call targets. The stock fell $1.13, or 1.6%, to close at $68.04.

Coach

(COH)

posted fiscal first-quarter earnings of $125.6 million, or 34 cents a share, rising 34% from last year. Sales rose to $553.9 million from $449 million. Both were ahead of expectations. Coach finished 7.9% higher after the company issued guidance above analysts' forecasts.

After the previous session's closing bell,

Texas Instruments

(TXN) - Get Report

said it had third-quarter earnings of $702 million, or 46 cents a share, up 11% from the same quarter a year ago. While earnings beat the Thomson First Call consensus by a penny, sales came in just short of the $3.8 billion target. Shares of TI dropped $1.36, or 4.3%, to $30.52.

Kraft Foods

(KFT)

also reported late, saying it earned $748 million, or 45 cents a share, in the third quarter. Results were up 11% from a year ago and matched the Thomson First Call consensus. Quarterly revenue rose to $8.24 billion, just shy of expectations. Kraft lost 94 cents, or 2.6%, to $35.36.

Altria

(MO) - Get Report

, which is expected to announce the complete spinoff of Kraft, will report earnings results later Tuesday.

In addition,

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

,

QLogic

(QLGC)

and

Corning

(GLW) - Get Report

will post results after the close.

Crude prices reversed early losses and headed higher. Oil rose 54 cents to close at $59.35 a barrel. Meanwhile, gold futures added $4.70 to close at $587.60 an ounce, and silver rose 18 cents to $11.85 an ounce.

The 10-year Treasury rose 2/32 to yield 4.82%, while the dollar held steady against the euro and the yen.

Overseas, European and Asian equities were mixed.