This story was updated at 4:15 p.m. EDT.
U.S. stock indexes closed barely changed Tuesday, with the Dow rising briefly above the 18,000 mark, as investors assessed quarterly earnings reports and waited for the outcome of a two-day U.S. Federal Reserve meeting.
A rise in oil prices and a 2.4 percent rise in DuPont helped the Dow Jones Industrial Average cross the key psychological barrier.
Markets see no chance of a U.S. interest rate increase at the meeting, which is set to begin Tuesday, but have priced in a 1-in-5 chance of a hike at the meeting June 14-15. Fed officials have repeatedly said a hike in June is in the cards.
While job growth has continued to gain strength, inflation stubbornly remains below the Fed's 2 percent target.
Shares of Apple were down 0.7 percent at $104.35 ahead of the world's largest public company's earnings report, after the close, when it is expected to report a fall in quarterly revenue on weakened demand for its smartphones.
Investors are also keeping a close eye on earnings reports from major players such as AT&T and eBay.
First-quarter earnings from S&P 500 components are expected to have fallen 7.3 percent from a year earlier, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Of the 135 companies that have weighed in, 59 percent reported revenue above analyst expectations, just short of the average 60 percent since 2002.
"People are focused on earnings to see if things will pick up in the coming quarters," said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.
"Right now we're in no man's land. The data has been mixed with job growth picking up, but there are concerns regarding the downside risks."
With the S&P 500 up in eight of the past 10 weeks and nearing the record high set almost a year ago, traders are struggling to find reasons to push it even higher as underwhelming earnings and the specter of higher interest rates hover over markets.
The Dow closed the day up 13 points, or 0.1 percent, at 17,990, while the S&P 500 stock index was up 3.91 points, or 0.2 percent, at 2,092, and the Nasdaq Composite was off 7 points, or 0.2 percent, at 4,888.
Seven of the 10 major S&P sectors were higher, with the energy and materials index's 1 percent rise leading the advancers.
Oil prices were up about 2 percent due to a weaker dollar and hopes for an easing of the global oil glut.
Orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods rebounded less than expected in March. The Commerce Department said Tuesday orders for durable goods increased 0.8 percent last month, below the 1.8 percent rise expected by economists polled by Reuters.
Whirlpool was down 3.6 percent at $179.43 after its profit missed expectations.
Dow components Procter & Gamble and 3M ended lower after reporting results.
Data from Reuters were used to report this story.