NEW YORK, March 12 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks closed mixed on Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average refreshing record highs and the S&P 500 snapping seven-session winning streak.
The blue-chip Dow went up 2.77 points, or 0.02 percent, to 14, 450.06, setting an all-time high for the sixth sessions in a row. The broader S&P 500 lost 3.74 points, or 0.24 percent, to 1,552.48. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index shed 10.55 points, or 0.32 percent, to 3,242.32.
The CBOE Volatility Index, considered the fear gauge of Wall Street, climbed to 12.27.
The main stock indices opened lower, following a slump in the Chinese stocks on Tuesday as rising inflation pressure may force China to take a tightening monetary policy and curb liquidity.
The European stocks were mixed on Tuesday after a top official from the European Central Bank said that the eurozone financial crisis was not over.
Britain's industrial output slumped in January, stoking fears that the country might enter a triple-dip recession. The country's manufacturing output dropped 1.5 percent in January from December, while industrial production fell 1.2 percent, the Office for National Statistics reported on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the National Federation of Independent Business' Small Business Optimism Index for the United States increased by 1. 9 points to 90.8 in February.
In terms of sector, financial was one of the biggest laggards in the main sectors of the S&P 500.
In corporate news, shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation advanced 1.28 percent to 103.75 U.S. dollars after the supermarket giant reported a 39-percent increase in its quarterly profit, which exceeded market expectations.
Shares of Yum! Brands rallied 1.31 percent to 68.73 dollars after the restaurant operator's sales in China unexpectedly jumped in February.
Apple shares dipped 2.16 percent to 428.43 dollars after Jefferies cut its target price on the tech giant to 420 dollars from 500 dollars.
Shares of Merck rallied 3.16 percent to 45.04 dollars after the drug maker announced that a data safety monitoring board recommended that the study of its cholesterol drug Vytorin could continue.
The U.S. dollar weakened against most of major currencies on Tuesday. It pared previous gains versus the Japanese yen as the deputy Bank of Japan governor nominee may be not approved by opposition party.
Light, sweet crude for April delivery advanced 48 cents, or 0. 52 percent, to settle at 92.54 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Tuesday. However, Brent crude for April delivery fell 76 cents, or 0.66 percent, to close at 110.12 dollars a barrel.
Gold future for April delivery on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 13.7 dollars, or 0.87 percent, to settle at 1,591.7 dollars per ounce on Tuesday.