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Stocks Jumbled Ahead of Company Earnings

He said companies need to "get it right" in all three areas of the trifecta of bottom-line growth, top-line growth and guidance.

Stephen Guilfoyle, chief economist at sarge986.com, said that besides looking at the economic data and a number of speeches from Fed officials on Tuesday, traders were "loading up" for the Goldman Sachs (GS) and JPMorgan Chase reports on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Keith Bliss, director of sales and marketing at Cuttone, said that any kind of upside surprise at the end of the month from basic material companies U.S. Steel (X), DuPont (DD) and Allegheny Technologies (ATI), which guided down substantially following their third-quarter earnings, and the financial companies this week could potentially drive the S&P up to 1,500.

Mark Newton, chief technical analyst at Greywolf, said that while investors are looking more at earnings right now, the ramp-up of the debt ceiling debate that is just a few weeks away is going to have a big impact on sentiment and how people view the market.

"In my opinion it's all about sentiment and when it gets too frothy at one end and everybody's at one side of the boat, typically we reverse," said Newton. "And so right now between earnings and the debt ceiling debate those are two things that should serve as a driver for sentiment at least in the short-run."

Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren and Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota both gave dovish remarks during their talks Tuesday morning. Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser was also scheduled to speak.

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