By Chuck Mikolajczak
Apple Inc's <AAPL.O> revenue and profits came in below estimates for the first time in years as it sold far fewer iPhones than expected. The stock fell 3.7 percent to $406.58.
Intel Corp <INTC.O> climbed 3.9 percent to $24.31 after the chipmaker forecast quarterly revenue above expectations.
Travelers Cos Inc <TRV.N> advanced 5.3 percent to $54.18 and was the top boost to the Dow after it said it will ramp up a share buyback dramatically. The KBW insurance index <.KIX> advanced 1.3 percent.
"There still are good companies out there and a lot of these companies have pretty strong balance sheets with a lot of cash and they are going to endure this time of low consumer confidence that we are seeing," said Casey Weade a certified financial planner at Howard Bailey Financial in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 47.95 points, or 0.41 percent, to 11,625.00. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> added 2.23 points, or 0.18 percent, to 1,227.61. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dropped 10.35 points, or 0.39 percent, to 2,647.08.
Markets remained subject to violent swings on developments out of Europe. U.S. stocks surged in late trading on Tuesday after a report that France and Germany would pump up the euro zone rescue fund. Two senior European Union officials dismissed the report.
"The market is trading on what is going on in Europe pretty rapidly ... even if they come out and say they have a solution, that may be positive for the markets in the short term. But we are still looking at something that is going to be difficult to live with. It's not going to be all roses," said Weade.
The S&P 500 has struggled to advance as it approaches the top end of a two-month trading range at around 1,250, having gained 8.6 percent for October.
Black-clad demonstrators hurled stones and fire bombs at police in front of the Greek parliament as tens of thousands rallied during a nationwide general strike to coincide with a vote on painful new austerity measures.
As earnings reports continued to roll out, Morgan Stanley <MS.N> said it swung to a quarterly profit as stock trading results proved unexpectedly resilient and wealth management revenue soared. The shares rose 2 percent to $17.
Economic data showed U.S. consumer prices outside food and energy rose at their slowest pace in six months while groundbreaking on new homes rose at the fastest rate in 1-1/2 years. Stocks barely budged after the data.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)