US. stocks closed mixed after narrowly fluctuating trading Tuesday to start the holiday- shortened week, as investors tried to digest a slew of mixed corporate earnings.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 44.12 points, or 0.27 percent, to 16,414.44. The S&P 500 rose 5.10 points, or 0.28 percent, to 1,843.80. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 28.18 points, or 0.67 percent, to 4,225.76.
After a break on Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the U.S. stock market opened higher on the heels of a broad rise in Asian and European stocks mainly thanks to the People's Bank of China's liquidity injection to relief concerns over financial risks in the world's second largest economy.
The Chinese central bank pumped 255 billion yuan (42 billion U. S. dollars) into the money market on Tuesday, propelling China's Shanghai Composite Index to rise above the level of 2,000 again and Asian markets to close higher.
However, the U.S. stocks posted a volatile trading session later, as investors weighed fourth-quarter earnings from several large corporations, with no significant economic data coming in.
The blue-chip Dow underperformed the other two indices, largely dragged by its three components.
Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. dropped 1.34 percent to 47.70 dollars though it reported a 3.4 percent rise of its quarterly revenues, moderately higher than the market forecast.
Shares of Johnson & Johnson shed 1.08 percent to 94.03 dollars as the maker of health-care products released a light 2014 guidance. Another Dow component Travelers decreased 1.70 percent to 85.00 dollars as the insurer's profit margins disappointed investors.
The broader S&P 500 and the tech-rich Nasdaq shrugged off the mixed earnings results, managing to finish in positive territory.
Shortly after the closing bell, IBM, a giant technology services company, revealed a mixed quarterly earnings report, with its earnings per share topping market estimates and revenues missing analysts' forecasts. Its shares lost ground in after-hours trading.
Moreover, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued a positive outlook for the world's economy Tuesday, but it failed to provide a strong boost to the market. The IMF expected global growth to average 3.7 percent in 2014 -- up from 3 percent in 2013 -- and to rise to 3.9 percent in 2015 in its latest report on the health of the global economy.