NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks wandered between small gains and losses on Wall Street Tuesday as the Federal Reserve began a two-day meeting and as companies reported mixed results for the latest quarter.
The Dow Jones industrial average gave up an early gain of 72 and was down 10 points, or 0.1 percent, at 15,512 as of 2:38 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up less than a point at 1,685.
Technology stocks bucked the downward trend. They were one of just three industry sectors out of 10 in the S&P 500 index that rose.
The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite rose 16 points, or 0.4 percent, to 3,615. Apple, the biggest component of the index, rose $6.31, or 1.4 percent, to $454.10.
The Mosaic Co., a maker of a key ingredient in crop fertilizers, plunged after a Russian fertilizer company said it would drop out of a cartel that kept prices high. Mosaic fell $9.61, or 18 percent, to $43.35.
Earnings news was mixed.
Coach slumped $5.26, or 9 percent, to $52.59 after the upscale handbag maker reported a 12 percent drop in fourth-quarter profit as its home market of North America remained weak. Coach also said two more executives were leaving the company.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber jumped $1.70, or 10 percent, to $18.74 after reporting that its second-quarter earnings more than doubled. Sales in Latin America rose sharply. Pfizer and Masco also rose after reporting earnings that were better than investors were expecting.
Traders were also keeping a close eye on the Federal Reserve. The central bank began a two-day meeting Tuesday and will release an updated policy statement Wednesday.
"This week it's all about Bernanke and the Fed statement tomorrow," said Bill Strazzullo, chief strategist of Bell Curve Trading. "Stocks need a supportive statement ... to go higher. That is the key driver."
The Federal Reserve has been buying $85 billion in bonds every month to keep interest rates low and encourage borrowing and hiring. The Fed has said it might start to pull back on the stimulus later this year if the economy continues to improve, but the timing remains uncertain.
The Fed has also kept its benchmark short-term interest rate close to zero and has said it would stay there until the unemployment rate dips below 6.5 percent. The rate currently stands at 7.6 percent.
Crude oil fell $1.68 to $102.87 a barrel in New York. The price of gold fell $4.40 to $1,324 an ounce. The dollar edged higher against the euro and the Japanese yen.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was unchanged from late Monday at 2.60 percent. The yield is a benchmark for many kinds of loans including home mortgages.
Among other stocks making big moves:
- Masco jumped $1.33, or 6.7 percent. The home furnishings company posted earnings that beat the forecasts of financial analysts as the company benefited from a surge in home construction.
- Time Warner Cable fell 94 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $114.26. The giant cable company is enmeshed in a nasty fee dispute with CBS over programming fees and is threatening to pull the broadcaster off its systems.
- Pfizer rose 19 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $29.73 after the pharmaceutical company reported that its income more than quadrupled, helped by the sale of its animal health business.
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