U.S. stocks fell in choppy trading on Tuesday as a worse-than-expected consumer confidence report overshadowed earlier data that showed home prices rose for the fourth-straight month.

Consumer confidence slipped to lower-than-expected levels in October on growing concerns job market conditions will worsen in the near term.

The consumer is still not seeing the end of the recession. Employees still feel vulnerable, said Steve Goldman, market strategist, at Weeden & Co in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Consumer discretionary stocks <.GSPD> led the market down, falling 1.2 percent.

The data offset earlier optimism after the Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose for the fourth-straight month in August, adding to signs of economic stability in the United States.

The Nasdaq fared worse than the other indexes as Baidu Inc American Depositary Receipts skidded 13 percent to $376.68 after China's top search engine said a rocky introduction for its new system to sell search-based advertising will hit its business into the first quarter of next year.

Energy shares kept the Dow above water after earnings from oil major BP Plc that beat forecasts by a big margin. Exxon Mobil Corp gained 1.1 percent to $74.01 and Chevron put on 0.9 percent to $76.12.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> added 14.44 points, or 0.15 percent, to 9,882.40. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> slipped 0.82 points, or 0.08 percent, to 1,066.13. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> lost 11.10 points, or 0.52 percent, to 2,130.75.

(Additional reporting by Ellis Mnyandu; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)