It's been something of a rocky day for our hero, the stock market.

Things started well. A better than expected June inflation report sent the Treasuries higher -- high enough, in fact, to make it look like they might break above the range they've been in since June, helping stocks to a nice open.

But midmorning, things changed.

European Central Bank

President

Wim Duisenberg

, surprised bond markets in Europe, saying that the ECB might move toward a tightening stance on monetary policy if monetary and credit expansion continued. German bunds sold off, Treasuries went down in sympathy, and most of the gains in the stock market got erased.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was lately up 21 to 11,169. It had traded as high as 11,217. The broader

S&P 500

was up 10 to 1408 and the tech-stuffed

Nasdaq Composite Index

was up 12 to 2830. The small-cap

Russell 2000

was up half a point to 462.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was down 1 to 656.

Breadth was narrowly positive in moderate trading. On the

New York Stock Exchange

, advancers were outpacing decliners 1,547 to 1,214 on 456 million shares, with 93 new 52-week highs and 18 new lows. In

Nasdaq Stock Market

action, advancers were beating decliners 1,896 to 1,748 on 636 million shares, with 164 new highs and 21 new lows.

But traders didn't think the reversal signified all that much, other than a continuation of the ruminative action the market's seen for the last week or so.

"There still seems to be a lot of cash on the sidelines; there still seems to be a lot of positive feelings," said Bob Basel, director of listed trading at

Salomon Smith Barney

. "Maybe a couple more days of consolidation and then we can go higher."

The market is still a bit leery on the

Fed

, divided on whether it will raise rates again at its August meeting. (This writer has a six-pack that says the Fed won't go, but before you take that to heart you should know that one of the smart bond reporters here has the other side of that bet.) People are looking to Fed chief

Alan Greenspan's Humphrey-Hawkins

testimony before

Congress

next Thursday to help them determine what the real score is on that. The market may not go much of anywhere until then.

Thursday's Midday Watchlist

By Heather Moore
Staff Reporter

Coca-Cola

(KO) - Get Report

was up 1 13/16 to 63 11/16 after reporting second-quarter earnings of 38 cents a share, in line with the 16-analyst

First Call

estimate but down from the year-ago 48 cents. The year-ago period includes a gain of 3 cents related to the sale of the company's bottling operations in northern and central Italy, and a provision of 2 cents a share from the impairment of certain assets in the global manufacturing system.

On the flip side,

U.S. Airway

(U)

was down 2 1/2, or 5.6%, to 41 13/16 after saying it won't meet earnings estimates for the second half of the year. The airline was expected to earn $1.66 a share in the third quarter and $1.62 in the fourth quarter. The carrier said its results have been hurt by recent revenue trends, and higher labor and fuel costs.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

ContiFinancial

(CFN)

was tanking 2 3/8, or 60.3%, to 1 9/16 after last night saying it ended merger talks with

Residential Funding

, a unit of

General Motors'

(GM) - Get Report

General Motors Acceptance

.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Adhering to the sell-the-news trend this earnings season,

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

was down 2 3/8 to 53 9/16 after last night posting second-quarter earnings of 69 cents a share, beating the 19-analyst estimate by a nickel and moving up from the year-ago 65 cents. The Mac maker, whose shares ran up ahead of the announcement, also said it will buy back $500 million in stock.

DSP Communications

(DSP)

was down 5 13/16, or 18.6%, to 25 3/8 after last night posting second-quarter earnings in line with the estimate of 22 cents a share. Today,

Merrill Lynch

lowered the stock to near-term neutral from accumulate, maintaining a long-term buy.

LandAmerica Financial

(LFG)

was down 3 5/8, or 12.8%, to 24 5/8 after last night saying it sees second-quarter earnings of 78 cents to 88 cents a share due to a shift in revenue mix to the company's lower-margin agency business. The two-analyst view called for $1.27 vs. the year-ago $1.47. Today,

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

lowered the stock to market perform from buy.

McKesson HBOC

(MCK) - Get Report

was up 1/8 to 31 1/8 after last night restating earnings from continuing operations for the last there years. It cut earnings for fiscal 1999 by $152.2 million, or 53 cents a share; for 1998, the company lowered earnings by $25.8 million, or 9 cents a share; for 1997, it lowered earnings by $13.5 million, or 5 cents a share. McKesson lowered its revenue for the past three fiscal years by a total of $327.4 million.

Rambus

(RMBS) - Get Report

was up 9 1/16, or 9.3%, to 106 13/16 after last night reporting third-quarter earnings of 8 cents a share, 2 cents higher than expected.

Rational Software

(RATL)

was down 3 13/16, or 9.6%, to 36 1/4 even after last night topping first-quarter earnings estimates by a penny, logging a profit of 16 cents a share.

SanDisk

(SNDK)

was up 11 1/2, or 21.2%, to 66 1/8 after last night beating second-quarter earnings forecasts of 15 cents by 4 cents a share. Today, Merrill Lynch raised the stock to long-term buy from accumulate.

In other earnings news:

Offerings and stock actions

Efficient Networks

(EFNT)

was rocketing 32, or 214.1, to 47 3/16 after last night

Credit Suisse First Boston

priced its 4 million-share IPO top-range at $15. The company is a high-speed DSL equipment developer based in Dallas.

Miscellany

BP Amoco

(BPA)

was up 2 3/8 to 120 7/8 after saying it plans to divest around $10 billion of assets over the next three years. The company also announce a "significant" crude oil discovery in deep water offshore Angola.

National Semiconductor

(NSM)

was up 5/16 to 27 15/16 after confirming a

Wall Street Journal

report saying the company developed a single PC chip that integrates most semiconductor content and functions. The company said the chip, called GeodeSC1400, provides online, digital video and browsing functions for the set-top box market.

Time Warner

(TWX)

was off 1 to 76 5/16 after the co-heads of the company's

Warner Bros.

and

Warner Music Group

, Robert Daly and Terry Semel, said they will leave at the end of the year when their contracts expire.

Ziff-Davis

(ZD)

was up 4 1/8, or 29.1%, to 18 5/16 after last night saying it hired

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

to explore strategic alternatives. The company said its majority shareholder,

Softbank

, is refocusing its strategy on companies which operate totally on the Internet.