Tuesday Wrap - Dow +0.14%, S&P -0.03%, NQ +0.58%

by: Roy Mehta

Stocks finished mixed Tuesday, with tech stocks enjoying decent gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 19.59 points (+0.14%), the S&P 500 dropped 0.52 points (-0.03%), and the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 15.5 points (+0.58%). Volume on the NYSE was 1.33 billion shares, as decliner beat advancers by a ratio of 3:2.

The consumer appears shaken, as retailers Target and Lowe's lowered expectations on Tuesday. In the morning, the Conference Board announced Consumer Confidence had fallen it lowest level in the nearly two years (full story), and the National Association of Realtors reported existing homes sales fell in August to its lowest point in five years (full story). Lennar Corp, a homebuilder, announced a fiscal third-quarter loss and low revenues (full story). The U.S. 10-year note's rate increased to 4.61%.

The tech sector (1.0%) had a strong day, while energies (-0.90%) stumbled. Large cap tech names like Apple (+3.3%), RIMM (+2.4%), and Cisco (1.8%) were especially attractive to investors today, while Lowes (-6.7%), Target (-4.6%), and Lennar (-4.0%) all had disappointing news for shareholders. Crude finished down $1.42 to $79.53/barrel hurting energies. BP's (-2.7%) CEO forecasted his company's third-quarter results to be "dreadful."

Tomorrow, Durable Goods (8:30 AM) will be released. All in all, the market survived a lot of the bad news admirably Tuesday. The market seems to be looking for a positive catalyst to keep this rally going; treading water in the mean time.

Sources: Yahoo, TheStreet.com
Commentary: Housing Bust: Economic Models vs. RealityContinuation of Negative Annual Returns in Housing
Stocks/ETFs to watch: LEN, TGT, LOW, CSCO, AAPL, RIMM, BP

Seeking Alpha's news briefs are combined into a pre-market summary called Wall Street Breakfast. Get Wall Street Breakfast by email -- it's free and takes only seconds to sign up.