New York Stocks gave up early gains and closed moderately lower Tuesday as poor earnings reports weighed on investors, prompting them to again cash in recent profits.
Throughout the day, investors were torn between their newfound optimism about earnings and the economy and fears that it would be much longer before the business environment improves.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 77.89 to close at 10,454.34. Investors became more cautious as the session progressed, pulling back after sending the Dow up as much as 106.83 earlier.
Wall Street's broader indicators also finished lower. The Nasdaq composite index fell 42.71 to 2,016.61, but it remains up 23 percent from its low for the year of 1,638.80, reached April 4.
Investors sold companies that posted disappointing profits. Consumer products maker Kimberly Clark plunged $6.17 to close at $56.61 on news it missed earnings expectations by a penny a share.
JDS Uniphase tumbled $3.36 to $20.82 after announcing it would restructure its business.
When investors bought stocks Tuesday, they did so with caution, gravitating toward some of the market's safest sectors, such as energy issues. Enron rose 22 cents to $61.87.
Investors also rewarded companies that posted better-than-expected profits. DuPont, a Dow stock, rose 67 cents to $44.80 on earnings that beat expectations by 3 cents a share.