US stocks mixed on Greece, US worries

US stocks were mixed in early trade Tuesday amid worries about Greece's debt crisis and a US "fiscal cliff" of spending cuts and tax hikes at year-end which threaten to drag the economy into recession.

After opening lower, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 19.43 points (0.15 percent) at 12,834.51 by 1545 GMT.

The broad-market S&P 500 edged down 0.93 point (0.07 percent) to 1,380.96, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite fell 12.84 (0.44 percent) to 2,891.41.

"The fiscal cliff concern hasn't gone away... (and) the concerns about Greece are still present," Patrick O'Hare at Briefing.com said in a client note.

"The only clear thing right now is that there is a lot of uncertainty and that there isn't a headline today so far that is the equivalent of a game-changer."

Dow member Home Depot was the strongest gainer on the blue-chip index, jumping 4.0 percent, after the home-improvement retail giant reported earnings that beat Wall Street estimates and raised its full-year guidance.

"Our third-quarter results were better than we expected and reflected, in part, what we believe is the start of the path toward the healing of the housing market," said Frank Blake, chairman and chief executive.

Microsoft was the steepest Dow loser, down 3.4 percent. The software maker announced the departure of Steven Sinofsky, head of its Windows unit.

In the luxury sector, Michael Kors Holdings rose 2.5 percent after posting better-than-expected earnings for the second quarter, while department store chain Saks fell 3.4 percent on disappointing results.

Printer and copier maker Xerox rose 1.7 percent after lowering its profit forecast for the fourth quarter.

Apple was up a scant 0.1 percent at $543.12, after losing more than $150 since late September.

The bond market, which was closed Monday for a federal holiday, rallied. The 10-year US Treasury yield fell to 1.59 percent from 1.61 percent late Friday, and the 30-year dropped to 2.72 percent from 2.75 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

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