New York A fragmented stock market searched in vain for direction Wednesday big blue chips rose, but the broader market was mixed while investors awaited second-quarter earnings reports.
A slightly better-than-expected earnings report from Yahoo! and brighter outlook from Motorola after the market closed suggested Wall Street might be in a better mood today, but many analysts predict more indecision ahead.
"You can call this a yo-yo market," said Richard Dickson, a technical analyst at Hilliard Lyons in Louisville, Ky.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 65.38 at 10,241.02, recovering more than half of Tuesday's 123-point drop.
Broader market measures were mixed, with the Nasdaq composite index rising 9.25 to 1,972.04 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index slipping 1.34 to 1,180.18.
Some of Wednesday's buying was attributable to bargain hunting after Tuesday's selloff, said Dan Ascani, president of Global Market Strategists in Gainesville, Ga. But investors won't really commit to buying stocks until companies can say the outlook for future revenues and earnings is improving.
"It's going to take some catalyst like a good earnings report, or at least not a bad one," Ascani said.
Positive earning reports, such as one by Yahoo whose profits surpassed break-even forecasts by a penny after the market closed, could inspire more buying. Yahoo rose $2.37, or 14 percent, in after-hours trading, wiping out its 80-cent loss from the regular session when it ended at $17.03.
But, Yahoo wasn't overly optimistic about the future, saying third-quarter results would break even, rather than come to the penny a share Wall Street was expecting. It still expects full-year earnings per share of 2 cents to 6 cents, in line with analysts' forecast of 4 cents.
Motorola also beat expectations by a penny, reporting a second-quarter loss of 11 cents a share, and said it expected demand to bounce back in the third quarter. It advanced 98 cents, or 6.3 percent, in extended-hours trading after closing the regular session up 17 cents at $15.67.
Other earnings news was mixed Wednesday.