U.S. stocks mostly edged higher on Tuesday after President Barack Obama said share prices are potentially a good deal at current levels, offsetting persistent uncertainty about plans to shore up the financial system.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the Obama administration will evaluate potential costs to stabilize banks as more information becomes available, in testimony before a congressional panel.

Obama is trying to cheerlead, which is OK. I'd like to see what he bases his view on. It shows that at least he recognizes that something is going on, said Joe Saluzzi, co-manager of trading at Themis Trading in Chatham, New Jersey.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 10.44 points, or 0.15 percent, to 6,773.73. But the Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> dropped 0.11 of a point, or 0.02 percent, to 700.71. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> added 4.60 points, or 0.35 percent, to 1,327.45.

Giving major boosts to the Dow were McDonald's , up 2.4 percent at $53.11, and Caterpillar , up 4.2 percent at $23.11.

(Additional reporting by Ellis Mnyandu; Editing by Jan Paschal)