Insurance stocks were mixed as Merrill Lynch downgraded Aon and Willis Group Holdings in response to New York Attorney General Eliot L. Spitzer's investigations of the two companies. Aon fell 19 cents, to $20.46, while Willis rose 4 cents, to $36.
Time Warner fell 10 cents, to $16.28, after reports that the company's struggling America Online unit would lay off 700 workers.
The New York Stock Exchange composite index rose 1.61, to 6701.47; the American Stock Exchange index rose 0.23, to 1305.26; and the Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks fell 1.56, to 585.44.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones by 7 to 6 on the NYSE, where trading volume rose to 1.66 billion shares, from 1.4 billion on Monday. On the Nasdaq Stock Market, advancers narrowly outnumbered decliners and volume totaled 1.84 billion, up from 1.53 billion.
The price of the Treasury's 10-year note rose $2.50 per $1,000 invested, and its yield fell to 4.05 percent, from 4.09 percent on Monday.
The dollar fell against the Japanese yen and rose against the euro. In late New York trading, a dollar bought 106.39 yen, down from 106.44 late Monday, and a euro bought $1.2674, down from $1.2749.
Light, sweet crude oil for December delivery settled at $49.62, down 51 cents, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Gold for current delivery fell to $420.00 a troy ounce, from $427.30 on Monday, on the New York Mercantile Exchange's Commodity Exchange.