A string of disappointing earnings news offset a big drop in oil prices on Wall Street.
Crude briefly slid below $60 a barrel for the first time since July, the result of news that natural gas inventories rose more than expected.
Investors also breathed a sigh of relief that Hurricane Wilma may swerve away from oil and gas rigs in the Gulf. That could be good news for Texas, but bad news for Florida.
Investors didn't have much of an appetite for shares of McDonald's after the fast food chain said quarterly sales rose at the slowest pace in two and a half years.
Profit at Coca Cola bubbled up 37 percent as demand for Powerade sports drinks rose in Europe and Asia, and a decline in sales of sport utility vehicles forced ford to post its first quarterly loss in nearly two years last quarter.
Ford also warned of significant plant closings to help slash rising costs. Mortgage rates are on the rise again with rates on a 30 year loan at a 15 month high of 6.10 percent. That's compared to last year's 5.69 percent.
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