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The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 58.73 points, or 0.47 percent, to finish at 12,676.05, led by Boeing [BA 74.03 2.00 (+2.78%) ] and AT&T [T 35.33 0.70 (+2.02%) ].
The S&P 500 slid 0.42 points, or 0.03 percent, to end at 1,337.89. The tech-heavy Nasdaq dipped 8.75 points, or 0.31 percent, to close at 2,854.24. The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, finished below 20.
Among the key S&P sectors, telecoms ended higher, while techs sagged.
"Markets remain very sensitive to the possibility that we might have some more policy action from the central banks," said Paul Christopher, chief international investment strategist, at Wells Fargo Advisors on CNBC's "Closing Bell." "[While] some coordinated action is a possibility and would take the global markets up with a positive surprise, that's not going to be any kind of solution."
Apple [AAPL 574.97 -25.95 (-4.32%) ] came off its lows but was still down more than 3 percent after the iPhone maker missed quarterly results by a wide margin and handed in current-quarter guidance that disappointed analysts. In addition, at least six brokerages cut their price targets on the firm. Apple's weak results will likely weigh on the tech sector.
Among other earnings, Caterpillar [CAT 82.60 1.17 (+1.44%) ] topped Wall Street's profit expectations and boosted its 2012 earnings forecast. Shares toggled in and out of negative territory in choppy trading following comments from the company's conference call that full-year sales will be lower than expected from Buycrus and worries over a weak underground coal market.
Source: CNBC | JeeYeon Park