On the markets, investors favored cyclical stocks and took the day off from defensives such as consumer staples.
Kraft Foods and Hewlett-Packard were the biggest Dow losers, while Disney and Chevron led the bluechips as energy posted a big day.
Investors also took a breather from news about the European debt crisis as the much-anticipated summit looms beginning Thursday. Traders largely brushed off a late-day Egan-Jones downgrade and negative outlook on German debt.
Tuesday's action saw moves coming from a bustle of activity in U.S. companies.
Market volume closed at 3.35 billion shares, while breadth was positive, with gainers beating losers nearly 2 to 1.
News Corp is considering splitting its publishing assets, including the Wall Street Journal, from its entertainment properties, among them its Fox news and entertainment programming.
Investors welcomed the reports, sending shares to a four-year high.
"A spin-off would reduce the holding company discount in the stock and would allow investors to own a higher growth business without the slower growth publishing business and its associated liabilities," Barclays analyst Anthony DiClemente said in a note.
In tech, Zynga shares fell hard after the gaming company announced its "Zynga With Friends" network aimed at connecting the millions of users for its online products. The company sees 250 million people a month use its games primarily through Facebook and now seeks to connect them through a "social lobby" that will allow them to see what games their friends are playing and to track high scores.
Investors were underwhelmed by the "Friends" rollout.
Supernus Pharmaceuticals, a small-cap pharma, saw its stock price double on news it has received tentative regulatory approval of its epilepsy drug Trokendi.
Seagate Technology will be the newest addition to the Standard & Poor's 500 index, replacing Progress Energy, as of the market close Friday.