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US stocks close mixed; Dow inches up to new record

Specialists Meric Greenbaum and Allison Gamba work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, July 22, 2013. US stocks closed mixed on Tuesday, with the Dow creeping up to close at a new record high after mixed company results, while Apple dragged the Nasdaq lower. AP/RICHARD DREW

NEW YORK CITY—US stocks closed mixed on Tuesday, with the Dow creeping up to close at a new record high after mixed company results, while Apple dragged the Nasdaq lower.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 22.19 (0.14 percent) at 15,567.74, scoring a new all-time high. The prior record was set last Thursday at 15,465.91.

The broad-based S&P 500 gave up 3.14(0.19 percent) at 1,692.39, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index slid 21.11 (0.59 percent) to 3,579.27.

Apple shed 1.7 percent ahead of its earnings, due after the market closed.

“US stocks ended the day mixed, as the unexpected contraction in regional manufacturing activity and the plethora of divergent earnings reports left traders on the fence,” Charles Schwab & Company said in a market note.

Several leading companies, including Dow components DuPont, United Technologies and Travelers, reported profits that exceeded analyst expectations.

Yet revenues lagged forecasts at both DuPont and United Technologies, as well as at a number of smaller companies.

Chemical and biosciences giant DuPont edged down 0.1 percent after earnings came in one cent above expectations at $1.28 per share.

The company said it was exploring a possible sale of its performance chemicals division.

United Technologies, which works in the building and aerospace sectors, gained almost 3.0 percent after earnings exceeded expectations by 14 cents at $1.71 per share.

But Travelers retreated 3.8 percent despite easily topping expectations with $2.13 per share instead of the forecasted $1.61.

Some analysts said earnings were inflated by one-time items and pointed to a drop in book value per share due to the impact of increased interest rates on some investments.

Netflix tumbled 4.5 percent despite a fivefold increase in profits. Investors fretted that the company’s subscriber base is growing more slowly than in the past.

Networking technology firm Cisco Systems, a Dow component, gave up 0.6 percent after announcing a $2.7 billion acquisition of cybersecurity firm Sourcefire, pricing the smaller firm at $76 per share. Sourcefire shares soared 27.8 percent to $75.49.

Coffee retailer Starbucks dropped nearly 2.0 percent after announcing a tie-up with Danone to develop specialty Greek yogurt products to be sold initially only in the US market.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury bond rose to 2.52 percent from 2.49 percent Monday, while the 30-year rose to 3.59 percent from 3.56 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

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