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Tue. 11:40 a.m.: Stocks wobble as investors pore over mixed earnings reports

(AP) – Stocks wobbled between small gains and losses in morning trading today as traders weigh another big set of company earnings reports. Investors also are remaining cautious amid the spread of the more contagious delta variant of COVID-19.

The S&P 500 index was down less than 0.1 percent as of 11:13 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 59 points, or 0.2 percent, to 34,895. and the Nasdaq composite index was down 0.4 percent.

Gains from health care and industrial stocks were kept in check by a dip in communications and technology stocks.

Investors are in the midst of earnings season, with more than 100 companies in the S&P 500 index reporting their results this week. So far earnings have been strong, with roughly nine out of every 10 companies beating analysts’ expectations.

Clorox slumped 11.5 percent after reporting results that fell short of forecast and releasing a disappointing outlook.

Solid financial results helped lift several other companies. Ralph Lauren jumped 9.1 percent after handily beating analysts’ fiscal first-quarter profit forecasts as sales rebounded. Columbia Sportswear rose 3.3 percent after reporting a surprise second-quarter profit..

Activision Blizzard fell 5.4 percent after the head of Blizzard Entertainment said he would resign, effective immediately. Blizzard, maker of popular video games such as Overwatch and World of Warcraft, has been accused in a lawsuit of having a toxic work environment which has caused walkouts by employees.

PepsiCo rose 0.3 percent after the beverage and snacks giant said it would spin off its Tropicana and other fruit juices into a separate company in a $3.3 billion deal.

Bond yields were relatively stable. The yield on 10-year Treasury remained at 1.17 percent from the the day before. Less than a month ago, the 10-year note was trading around a yield of 1.35 percent.

Investors will be watching closely when the Labor Department releases its July jobs report Friday. Economists surveyed by FactSet forecast that the employers created 837,500 jobs last month and the unemployment rate fell to 5.7 percent.

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