The Dow Jones industrial average gained 9.31 points, having retreated from a 47-point gain early in the afternoon, to end the day at 6,473.25.
Yesterday, the blue-chip barometer jumped 82 points as the market snapped back from Friday's steep decline.
Today, advancers led decliners by a 6-to-5 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1,405 up, 1,165 down and 782 unchanged. NYSE volume was 446.12 million shares vs. 381.58 million yesterday.
Broad-market indexes pulled mostly lower late in the session.
The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index fell 2.22 to 747.54, and the NYSE's composite index lost 0.79 to 393.90. But the American Stock Exchange index rose 0.31 to 590.79.
The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index slipped 3.72 to 1,312.55 from Monday's record finish after surrendering a morning rally on the latest signs of rebounding semiconductor demand.
Computer-related shares drew an initial boost from last night's report that chip orders rose 6.3 percent in November, pushing a key industry indicator to its highest level in more than a year and giving further evidence the sector has pulled out of a slump.
Semiconductor stocks, which rose sharply Monday in advance of the report, gave back most of the session's gains amid some profit-taking.
Overseas, Tokyo's Nikkei stock average rose 1.1 percent, Frankfurt's DAX index rose 1.2 percent, and London's FT-SE 100 rose 0.6 percent.