Trader Michael Urkonis works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Hopes over the European economy coupled with a strong bounce-back in Japan's Nikkei stock index shored up markets Tuesday, ahead of key U.S. retail sales data that could have a bearing on when the Federal Reserve starts to rein in its monetary stimulus.
NEW YORK — Stock indexes managed small gains today as an upturn in technology companies outweighed weakness in other parts of the market, including a drop in airlines.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 31 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 15,451.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose four points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,694.
The Nasdaq rose 14 points, or 0.4 percent, to 3,684.
Apple led technology stocks higher after activist investor Carl Icahn said he has a large position in Apple and was urging the company to buy back more of its own stock.
Airline stocks slumped after the Justice Department challenged the proposed merger between US Airways and American Airlines.
More stocks fell than rose on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was lower than average, 3 billion shares.