Updated from 4:02 p.m. EDT

Stocks were held to modest gains Wednesday as falling oil prices and a spate of bargain-hunting were offset by another round of earnings warnings from the tech sector, including PeopleSoft ( PSFT).

The Dow added 20.95 points, or 0.21%, to 10,240.29; the S&P 500 gained 2.11 points, or 0.19%, to 1118.32; and the Nasdaq was up 2.65 points, or 0.13%, to 1966.08. The 10-year Treasury note was trading down 1/32, yielding 4.48%, while the dollar was lower against the yen and euro.

Trading was moderate, with volume just over 1.3 billion shares on the New York Stock Exchange, where advancers held about a 3-to-2 majority over decliners. On the Nasdaq, more than 1.7 billion shares changed hands, and decliners held a 5-to-4 edge.

"I think the market is pausing here in anticipation of earnings releases coming up over the next few weeks," said Jay Suskind, head of institutional equity trading with Ryan Beck & Co. "The last few macroeconomic numbers have showed a little slowness in the economy, and I think the market, rather than focusing on the earnings over the last quarter, is going to be looking at what these companies foresee over the next quarter or two as far as business activity.

"If the earnings statements come in optimistic, saying that business still looks brisk going forward for the rest of the year, then I think the market rallies," Suskind added. "If you start to hear things about warnings and things slowing down, then I think you might be in for some downside here. Right now, the market is dwelling on some negative numbers, but I think it's too early to tell what the overall tone will be."

Today's negativity centered at the outset around a release from PeopleSoft that put second-quarter operating earnings roughly 4 cents to 6 cents below estimates. The company also expects to report revenue of $655 million to $665 million in the quarter, short of analyst estimates of $690 million. Despite the report, the stock swung to a gain in late-session trading to close up 30 cents, or 1.8%, to $17.12.