U.S. stock traded mixed midday Tuesday after consumer confidence dipped in March and a closely watched survey said home prices fell to new lows in January.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.79 point, or 0.01 percent, to 13240.84, the Nasdaq rose 6.01 points, or 0.19 percent, to 3128.58, while the S&P 500-stock index rose 0.32 point, or 0.02 percent, to 1416.83.
The Conference Board, a private research group, said consumer confidence fell in March, easing to 70.2 from an upwardly revised 71.6 in February. Economist had expected a reading of 70.3, according to a Reuters poll. They had previously predicted a 70.8 reading.
Meanwhile, U.S. home prices fell in January from a month earlier, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case Shiller index. The 20-city composite index fell 3.8 percent compared to the prior year, matching a median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The 10-city composite index fell 3.9 percent. Prices are now 34.4 percent lower than the peak of the market in 2006.
Both composites were down 0.8 percent compared to the previous month.
Despite some positive economic signs, home prices continued to drop, said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices.
The markets rallied by 1 percent on Monday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke signaled the fed will maintain a supportive monetary policy to help encourage job creation.
Meanwhile, oil held above $125 a barrel early Tuesday, boosted by supply concerns amid tightening Western sanctions on Iran although expectations for an increase in U.S. crude inventories dampened sentiment, Reuters said.