Updated with closing stock prices.Stocks closed slightly to the upside Tuesday after a mixed bag of economic data and earnings, including better-than-expected quarterly performances out of Goldman Sachs ( GS) and Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ). The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 27.81 points, or 0.3%, at 8359.49, while the S&P 500 climbed 4.79 points, or 0.5%, to 905.84. The Nasdaq Composite edged up 6.52 points, or 0.4%, to 1799.73. Home Depot ( HD) and Disney ( DIS) were two of the best performers on the Dow, rising 2.5% and 1.8%, respectively, as consumer discretionary stocks ticked higher. Intel ( INTC) -- up 2.1% Tuesday -- topped expectations with its quarterly results after the market close and raised its guidance for the current quarter. Intel was up almost 8% in after-hours trading. The banks led the major indices to a win at the start of the week after Meredith Whitney Advisory Group upgraded Goldman Sachs to buy a day before its quarterly report. Goldman delivered on the bulls' hopes, although there was little buying after Monday's rally. J&J joined Goldman in giving better than expected results, offering some optimism to investors searching for clues on the state of the economic recovery and the tone of unfolding earnings season. Goldman shares rose 0.2% to $149.66, while J&J tacked on 0.9% to $58.23. "I think we're beginning to see some hints that the recession is clearly lessening in structural intensity, and we're beginning to see an important picture in a couple of corporations and that is the cost structure is vastly improved and with that profitability is improving," says Michael Strauss, chief economist and market strategist for Commonfund, "and we're beginning to get some of this profit growth without necessarily top line revenue growth." That may indicate increased efficiency in corporate America, says Strauss, adding that it's one of the things you'd see at a turning point as the economy transitions from negative to less-negative, and eventually to positive, GDP.