NEW YORK - U.S. stocks mostly climbed Tuesday as Wall Street looked to a gathering of European finance ministers for signs of progress in stemming the region's debt crisis.

"It's the same story over and over again, we just keep coming back to the headlines [about Europe]. We're not watching anything from a fundamental standpoint," said Chip Cobb, portfolio manager at Bryn Mawr Trust.

The Dow Jones industrial average ended up 32.62 points, or 0.3 percent, at 11,555.63. It had traded higher and posted yearly gains for most of the session, but the close brought year-to-date losses to 0.2 percent.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 2.64 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,195.19, with financials weighing. The Nasdaq composite fell 11.83 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,515.51.

Demand for Italy's 2014 bonds came in at 1.5 times the amount offered, with Italy selling 7.5 billion euros ($10 billion) in government debt.

"The Italian bond auction went off, and according to the really smart people, it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been," Cobb said, somewhat tongue-in-cheek.

Italy's 10-year government note's yield closed above 7.2 percent.