The Dow and the S&P slipped on Tuesday, recovering from steeper declines earlier in the day, as investors shrugged off weak consumer confidence data and focused on positive earnings reports.

But the Nasdaq edged higher, buoyed by the biotechnology sector's gains a day after Amgen's strong quarterly earnings.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> declined 11.79 points, or 0.13 percent, to end unofficially at 9,096.72. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> shed 2.56 points, or 0.26 percent, to finish unofficially at 979.62. But the Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> rose 7.62 points, or 0.39 percent, to close unofficially at 1,975.51.

(Reporting by Edward Krudy; Editing by Jan Paschal)