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Stocks waver on mixed earnings

Specialists Meric Greenbaum and Allison Gamba work on

Specialists Meric Greenbaum and Allison Gamba work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Monday. Analysts said the previous day's downbeat news on the U.S. economy was double-edged for financial markets. (July 22, 2013) Credit: AP

A mix of good and bad quarterly earnings news from big U.S. companies kept the stock market flipping between small gains and losses Tuesday.

At the close on Wall Street the Dow Jones industrial average was up 22.19 points at 15,567.74. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.19 percent to 1,692.39. The Nasdaq composite fell 0.59 percent to 3,579.27.

Better earnings from big banks, health insurers and other companies have helped drive the stock market higher this month. But corporate profits gave investors little direction Tuesday. Wendy's and United Technologies rose after posting better-than-expected results while Netflix and Altria Group fell after coming up short.

"In the absence of major economic news, the focus is on earnings this week," said David Joy, of Ameriprise Financial. "And there's nothing today to drive the market dramatically one way or another."

With 35 companies in the S&P 500 scheduled to turn in results, the scorecard for the second quarter looks good so far. More than six out of every 10 companies have posted earnings that surpassed Wall Street's expectations, according to S&P Capital IQ. Analysts forecast that second-quarter earnings for companies in the S&P 500 increased 3.8 percent over the same period last year. -- AP

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