AT&T and 3M both rallied on strong earnings reports, AT&T shares rising 3.63 percent, while 3M shares gained 2.78 percent.
The closely watched S&P/Case-Shiller home price index showed prices fell a touch more than expected, dropping 3.5 percent from February 2011 to February 2012. Economists had expected a drop of 3.4 percent.
By close of trading, the Dow Jones industrial average added 74.39 points or 0.58 percent to 13,001.56. The tech-dominated Nasdaq composite index shed 8.85 points or 0.3 percent to 2,961.60. The Standard and Poor's 500 index gained 5.03 points or 0.37 percent to 1,371.97.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 2,037 shared advanced and 1,021 declined on a volume of 3.4 billion shares traded.
The 10-year treasury note rose 2/32 to yield 1.976 percent.
The euro rose to $1.32 from Monday's $1.3158. Against the yen, the dollar rose to 81.32 yen from Monday's 81.19 yen.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index dropped 0.78 percent, 74.13, to 9,468.04.
In London, the FTSE 100 index gained 0.78 percent, 43.92, to 5,709.49.