Another gust of earnings reports blew stocks in assorted directions today, and largely accounted for the directional spat between the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

and the

Nasdaq Composite Index

.

The Dow was enjoying a modest gain, rising 35 to 11,065 on the strength of some blue-chip earnings reports, while the Nasdaq Composite was stuck in the red by 43, or 1%, to 4124, slumping after yesterday's late-day rally.

Helping out the Dow were

3M

(MMM) - Get Report

rising 5.1% after it turned in a record earnings report, and financial titans

American Express

(AXP) - Get Report

up 2.2%, and

J.P. Morgan

up 4.1%.

The

American Stock Exchange Broker/Dealer Index

was edging up 1.1%. Bill Schneider, head of U.S. equity block trading at

Warburg Dillon Read

, said he was "surprised that banks are acting much better than other areas," but chalked up the strength to a "a little catch-up" given their recent downdraft. Schneider characterized today's market action -- or lack thereof -- as a "gray day for trading."

In techland it was looking more like a red day for trading, with

Qualcomm

(QCOM) - Get Report

leading on the downside, sliding 14.7%, after

last night's earnings report. The company warned that shipment of phones and phone chips could be lower in the second quarter. Investors had no problem looking past the better-than-expected aspect of the report, a penny ahead of analyst estimates.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was fighting hard for a gain, edging up 5 to 1152.

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

was making life difficult for the DOT with its weighty 3.8% slide.

"The market's inability to respond to a fantastic earnings season has been discouraging," said Greg Nie, chief technical analyst at

First Union Securities

in Chicago. "I would just keep one eye on the Nasdaq. It's still very stretched when compared to its 200-day moving average.

Nie also said breadth has "become an issue again," saying that there has been a "gradual deterioration in internal indicators" beneath the surface of the rally that started in late October, pointing to the fact that the advance/decline line broke a new low on Monday. Today breadth was positive on the Big Board and just about even on the Nasdaq (see below). Nie said he sees 3700 as a key number for the Comp and said if the market breaks below that, we could see some sharp selling.

The

Russell 2000

and the

S&P 500

looked like they might be going separate ways with the Russell up 1 1/2 to 523 and the S&P down 4 to 1406.

The benchmark 30-year Treasury was lately up 16/32 to 93 28/32, easing its yield to 6.60%. (For more on the fixed-income market, see today's

Bond Focus.)

Market Internals

Breadth was positive on the Big Board and just about even on the Nasdaq.

New York Stock Exchange:

1,585 advancers, 1,263 decliners, 653 million shares. 35 new 52-week highs, 97 new lows.

Nasdaq Stock Market:

1,931 advancers, 1,968 decliners, 1 billion shares. 149 new highs, 49 new lows.

For a look at stocks in the midsession news, see Midday Movers, published separately

.