U.S. stocks barely budged on Tuesday as persisting worries about overseas fiscal problems offset optimism over data that underscored the view the economy was stabilizing.

Financials pressured the S&P 500, with Bank of America shares down 1.3 percent at $17.80.

Worries about Greece's funding needs lingered a day after an auction of 7-year Greek bonds drew weaker demand than hoped for by some.

I think there's more to the issue of sovereign debt and bond yields than people make out, said Subodh Kumar, chief investment strategist of Subodh Kumar & Associates, in Toronto.

Stocks started the day modestly higher, as consumer confidence and housing data pointed to an improving economy and Apple Inc's move to develop a new iPhone boosted telecom and chipmaker shares. By late morning, stocks gave up their gains to turn negative, and then moved slightly back into positive territory at midday.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 9.14 points, or 0.08 percent, at 10,905.00. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up just 0.03 of a point, or unchanged ona percentage basis, at 1,173.25. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 1.77 points, or 0.07 percent, at 2,406.11.

As the first quarter draws to an end with Wednesday's close, the Dow is flirting with the 11,000 mark.

For the first quarter so far, the Dow is up 4.54 percent, while the S&P 500 is up 5.2 percent and the Nasdaq is up 5.98 percent.

Apple shares shot to a record high intraday of $237.48 and were last up 1.6 percent at $236. The stock climbed after a Wall Street Journal report that Apple is developing a new iPhone that would work on Verizon Communications Inc's mobile network.

On the economic front, U.S. consumer confidence rebounded in March, as optimism about the labor market increased slightly, the Conference Board said.

Earlier data on Tuesday on January home prices also pointed to stability in the U.S. housing market. For details, see [ID:nN30143718][ID:nNYS007876] The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index showed home prices rose in January for the eighth straight month, with the best annual rate in nearly three years. Year over year, home prices dipped, the January reading showed.

Investors also are looking ahead to Friday's monthly non-farm payrolls report, which the government has scheduled for release even though the stock market will be shut for the Good Friday holiday.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Additional reporting by Angela Moon; Editing by Jan Paschal)