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Stocks mixed as investors focus on earnings

Traders on the floor of the New York

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange last week. Wall Street was expected to open higher Tuesday after the holiday weekend as most world stocks rose on news that China's central bank injected extra credit into its financial system. (Jan. 13, 2014) Credit: Getty Images

The Standard & Poor's 500 index logged a small gain Tuesday on a mixed day for the stock market.

Health care giant Johnson & Johnson slipped after it warned that pressure to keep prices low would likely mean slightly lower profits than forecast.

Delta Air Lines gained after reporting a better-than-expected profit in the fourth quarter as fares and traffic rose.

Company earnings were the main focus for investors Tuesday as there were no major economic releases. So far, the stock market has failed to get a big lift from earnings reports, and investors appear to be assessing the results more critically than they did a year ago.

"Earnings are coming in, and, candidly, we're getting a mixture picture for the fourth quarter so far," said Jim Russell, an investment director at U.S. Bank.

The S&P 500 rose 0.28 percent to 1,843.80. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 44.12 points to 16,414.44. The Nasdaq composite edged up 0.67 percent to 4,225.76.

U.S. markets were closed Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.

In bond trading, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.83 percent from 2.82 percent on Friday.-- AP

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