Stocks finished narrowly mixed in very light holiday trading as the bitter cold weather in the eastern U.S. helped to push up energy stocks. Traders seemed to shrug off an unexpected dip in consumer confidence and more bad news on housing prices.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 20.51 points, or 0.18 percent, at 11,575.54. The S&P 500 Index edged up 0.97 of a point, or 0.08 percent, at 1,258.51. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 4.39 points, or 0.16 percent, at 2,662.88.

The S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices in twenty major metropolitan areas dropped 1.3 percent in October from the prior month, and fell 0.8 percent year over year

The Conference Board said its gauge on consumer confidence fell to 52.5 in December from 54.3 the month before.

Oil futures gained 0.25 percent to $91.23 per barrel.

Gold futures surged above the $1400 per ounce levels.

Bonds fell as the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury rose to 3.48 percent from 3.33% late Monday.