Markets closed down today:
▼ Dow: -0.24 percent
▲ Nasdaq: +0.21 percent
▲ S&P: +0.09 percent
▼ Gold: -0.11 percent to $1,773.89 an ounce
▼Silver: -0.45 percent to settle at $34.54
▼ Oil: -0.67 percent
Stocks were down because:
Mixed signals on the world economy tugged on major stock indexes Tuesday.
The S&P 500 index gained 1.26 to close at 1,445.75. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 32.75 points to 13,482.36. Dupont led the Dow lower, sinking 86 cents to $49.50.
Indexes took a turn lower at midday after Spain's prime minister said that he's not preparing a request for a bailout loan. Traders have been anticipating that the Spanish government would ask for help for nearly a month. Spain needs to ask for money from Europe's bailout fund before the European Central Bank can start buying Spanish government bonds.
In other trading, the Nasdaq composite rose 6.51 points to 3,120.04.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note slipped to 1.61 percent from 1.63 percent late Monday after Spain's prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, said a bailout request wasn't coming.
European markets closed slightly lower before Rajoy spoke. Benchmark stock indexes fell 0.3 percent in Germany, 0.2 percent in Britain and 0.6 percent in France. Borrowing costs fell for Spain and Italy.
Most car makers reported better sales for September. But sales for U.S. automakers were mostly flat. General Motors reported a slight increase in sales from a year earlier, but its stock gained 3 percent after the hedge-fund manager David Einhorn recommended it. GM rose 59 cents to $23.68.
Core Logic, a private provider of real estate data, said U.S. home prices in August rose 4.6 percent compared with the same month last year. Prices also rose 0.3 percent from July, the sixth consecutive month of gains.
Other gauges of the housing market have improved in recent months, including home sales.
Investors are also looking ahead to quarterly earnings, which begin in earnest when the aluminum company Alcoa reports results Oct. 9.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.