Nasdaq manages gains

Select tech, energy and commodity stocks rise, while broader market struggles at start of earnings reporting period.

NEW YORK ( -- The Nasdaq rose and the broader market struggled Tuesday morning, as investors eyed higher oil prices and geared up for the start of the quarterly earnings reporting period.

The Dow Jones industrial average (down 11.95 to 12,557.19, Charts) was close to breakeven and the broader S&P 500 (up 0.68 to 1,445.29, Charts) index was up more than a point around 90 minutes into the session. The Nasdaq (Charts) composite rose 0.2 percent.


Stocks were mixed Monday, as investors hesitated after last week's rally and ahead of the start of the earnings reports. The first major report comes later Tuesday, when Dow component Alcoa (down $0.12 to $34.75, Charts) puts out its results.

What the aluminum producer says about global growth will be carefully monitored.

After 14 straight quarters of double-digit percentage growth, earnings are expected to slow to under 10 percent this quarter, according to tracker Thomson Financial.

The weaker growth reflects difficult comparisons versus a year earlier as well as the impact from the slowing economy and housing market. In addition, the energy sector is expected to see slower earnings growth, after leading the charge for several years.

Among stock movers Tuesday, Seagate Technology (down $2.08 to $21.38, Charts) slumped 6 percent after the disk drive maker said late Monday that revenue and profit margins in its most-recent quarter will miss forecasts.

Homebuilder D.R. Horton (down $0.33 to $21.71, Charts) warned that it hasn't seen the normal start of the spring home buying season and that sales for the first three months of the year were short of forecasts. However, shares were barely changed.

Citigroup (up $0.45 to $52.03, Charts) said it plans to cut 26,000 jobs, or 8 percent of its workforce, when it announces a major overhaul on Wednesday. Shares were modestly higher.

Adolar (down $5.00 to $3.72, Charts) slumped more than 50 percent in unusually active Nasdaq trading after the company - along with partner GlaxoSmithKline (down $0.05 to $56.07, Charts) - ended studies and withdrew an application for a bowel drug after poor trial results.

Gold and silver prices rose, giving a boost to metals and mining shares, with the Amex Gold Bugs (up $4.37 to $358.37, Charts) index adding 1.5 percent.

Rising oil prices boosted energy stocks, including Exxon Mobil (up $0.35 to $77.15, Charts) and ConocoPhillips (up $0.36 to $77.16, Charts).

Market breadth was positive. On the New York Stock Exchange, winners beat losers two to one on volume of 400 million shares. On the Nasdaq, advancers topped decliners eight to five on volume of 600 million shares.

U.S. light crude oil for May delivery rose 39 cents to $61.90 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after slumping 4 percent Monday on fund selling and relief about the developments in Iran.

COMEX gold for June delivery added 46.40 to $683.30 an ounce.

Treasury prices rose, lowering the yield on the 10-year note to 4.71 percent from 4.75 percent late Monday. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.

In currency trading, the dollar fell versus the euro and the yen.

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