The S&P 500 and the Dow industrials held gains on Tuesday, as consumer confidence improved more than expected in December but house prices were flat in October after five months of increases.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq was slightly lower, led down by Apple Inc and Google Inc .

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 16.55 points, or 0.16 percent, at 10,563.63. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 0.31 points, or 0.03 percent, at 1,128.09. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 3.28 points, or 0.14 percent, at 2,287.80.

(Reporting by Edward Krudy; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)