U.S. stocks were little changed on Tuesday as positive news from the corporate earnings season offset data pointing to weak consumer demand.
Earnings dominated the news, with Johnson & Johnson's
Goldman Sachs reported a near doubling of trading revenue, although its stock was up just 0.07 percent at $149.54 after a gain of more than 5 percent on Monday.
Stocks were also bolstered by comments from the chief executive of railroad company CSX Corp
The company, which reported better-than-expected results on Monday after the closing bell, saw its shares rise 6.3 percent to $34.58. The Dow Jones Transportation Average <.DJT> gained 1.3 percent.
There have been very few negative pre-announcements so far, which leads us to believe that we will see a predominance of reporting in line with or above expectations, said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Asset Management in Bedford Hills, New York.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 2.49 points, or 0.03 percent, at 8,334.17. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 1.96 points, or 0.22 percent, to 903.01. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 2.79 points, or 0.16 percent, at 1,796.04.
The energy sector <.GSPE> advanced 0.6 percent, boosted by U.S. crude futures rising 36 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $60.05 a barrel.
Helping to limit gains was Dell Corp's
Dell shares fell 7.2 percent to $12.08, weighing down the Nasdaq and the S&P 500's information technology index<.GSPT>.
Even though June total retail sales rose 0.6 percent, which was more than forecast, a big part of that gain was due to rising gasoline prices. Excluding autos and gas sales, retail sales registered a fourth consecutive monthly decline.
A rebound in sales is considered vital for the U.S. economy to bounce back from recession, as consumer spending accounts for roughly two-thirds of the country's economic activity.
(Editing by Jan Paschal)