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Stocks Close Mixed as Dow Hits 2007 High


NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Major U.S. stock averages were mixed Tuesday as Pfizer(PFE) shares popped on the drugmaker's quarterly report and Apple(AAPL) jumped following a product announcement. Data released Tuesday showed continued improvement in the housing market.

The Nasdaq slumped as the technology sector edged lower as analysts dissected a number of tech earnings releases, including those from Yahoo!(YHOO) and Seagate(STX) . The index tried to claw higher, paring losses amid Apple's gains.

Earlier Tuesday, Ford(F) provided a downbeat outlook for its European operations and has been seeing its shares sell off.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 72 points, or 0.5%, to 13,954 for its highest close since October 2007.

Breadth was positive, with winners outpacing losers 20 to 10. The top percentage blue-chip gainers were Pfizer, Procter & Gamble (PG) , Verizon(VZ) and Merck(MRK) .

Pfizer posted fourth-quarter earnings of 47 cents a share on revenue of $15.1 billion, surpassing the average analyst estimate of 44 cents a share on revenue of $14.4 billion, as emerging market sales strengthened. Shares added 3.1%.

Decliners included Hewlett-Packard(HPQ) , Cisco(CSCO) and Disney(DIS) .

The S&P 500 was up 8 points, or 0.5%, to 1,508. The Nasdaq lost less than a point to 3,153.66, but pared earlier losses. Apple shares gained 1.9% as the tech giant announced a fourth-generation iPad with 128 gigabytes of storage and a so-called retina display.

Most sectors in the broad market traded higher, led by energy, health care, consumer non-cyclicals and basic materials. The only sector that traded lower was consumer cyclicals.

Volumes totaled 3.93 billion shares on the New York Stock Exchange and 2.04 billion shares on the Nasdaq. Advancers edged decliners by a ratio of 1.4-to-1 on the Big Board and 1.2-to-1 on the Nasdaq.

Ted Weisberg, president of Seaport Securities, said stocks have performed much better than many investors had expected. That said, he noted that last January was also a good month, and the market fizzled after the first quarter.

"The big question for us going forward as we start to exit fourth-quarter earnings, which have been OK, not spectacular, is when the focus of investors return to the U.S. economy, the housing market, the unemployment numbers, our dysfunctional politicians, the eurozone, the geopolitical problems ... without the benefit of the fourth-quarter earnings and considering the move that we've had in the market where everything is pretty much priced to perfection, it doesn't leave a lot of room for disappointment," he said.

The Conference Board on Tuesday said that its consumer confidence index fell to 58.6 in January, erasing all of the gains made through 2012 and the weakest read since November 2011, from an upwardly revised 66.7 in December. Economists, on average, were expecting 64.