Updated from 4:15 p.m. EDT

Stocks finished mixed Tuesday as weakness was widespread, particularly among tech shares, keeping the broader averages from mounting a sustainable move higher.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished with a gain for just the second time in the last seven days, adding 14.41 points, or 0.14%, to 10,253.17. Still, that was well below the day's high at 10,313. The S&P 500 lost 2.46 points, or 0.21%, to 1184.87, and the Nasdaq Composite fell 17.83 points, or 0.86%, at 2061.09.

About 2.27 billion shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, with decliners beating advancers by a 5-to-3 margin. Trading volume on the Nasdaq was 1.82 billion shares, and losers beat winners 7 to 3.

Elsewhere, the 10-year Treasury was down 8/32 in price to yield 4.39%. The dollar rose against the euro and fell against the yen.

Oil spiked after falling in six of the last seven sessions. The November crude contract closed up $1.73 to $63.53 a barrel in Nymex floor trading, its highest level in a week. Tuesday's gain came even as Europe's International Energy Agency ratcheted down its estimate for worldwide demand growth for 2006 by about 100,000 barrels a day.

Among the primary culprits behind the Nasdaq's slide were softness in the Philadelphia Semiconductor Sector Index, down 1.7%, and the Amex Networking Index, off 1.6%. The computer hardware sector helped limit the decline by tacking on 0.2% ahead of Apple's ( AAPL) quarterly report, scheduled for after the close.

With profit reports about to start flooding the market, J.P. Morgan said it believes corporate earnings could miss the 18% EPS growth target for the S&P 500, ending a streak of 10 consecutive quarters of beating estimates. The firm believes energy may be the only sector to top analysts' expectations for earnings growth in the third quarter.

"We've had 13 quarters in a row of double-digit growth, which is good news," said Michael Sheldon, chief market analyst with Spencer Clarke LLC. "The more difficult news is that, looking at 2006, the economy is likely to slow. This will lead us to lower profit growth for next year. Will the Fed win the battle in subduing inflation at the cost of slowing the economy enough, leading to a weaker stock market?"

Regarding the economy, the policymaking Federal Open Market Committee released the minutes from its Sept. 20 meeting. At that meeting, the FOMC raised its federal funds target rate by a quarter-point to 3.75%. However, "some sentiment was expressed to consider changes to forward-looking aspects of the statement at upcoming meetings, in part because of the considerable reduction in monetary policy accommodation that had already been accomplished," the minutes indicated.

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