Weak earnings reports from big U.S. companies are sending the Standard & Poor's 500 index slightly lower at the close, but the Dow Jones industrial average is eking out a gain.

The S&P 500 slipped less than a point to 1,338 Wednesday. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite lost nine points to 2,854. The Nasdaq's biggest component, Apple, lost 4 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 59 points, or 0.5 percent, to 12,676. That snapped a three-day losing streak.

The Dow rose on surprisingly big earnings gains from Boeing and Caterpillar. The broader market was held back by a drop in new home sales and a rare earnings miss from Apple.

Rising stocks outpaced losing ones on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was average at 3.6 billion shares.