The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 13.74 points to close at 10,845 after jumping 87.62 points to 10,919 earlier in the afternoon. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index lost 52.14 points to close down at 2,550.
Online retailer Amazon.com posted a narrower-than-expected first-quarter loss after the market closed. The company said it lost 23 cents a share for the quarter, according to Bloomberg News. Analysts surveyed by First Call projected a 29-cent loss. In its year-ago period, Amazon.com lost 7 cents a share. Ahead of the news, the company's stock dropped 13 to close at 192.87.
As reported, Internet directory America Online posted strong third-quarter earnings after the market close yesterday. AOL had net profits of $117 million, or 11 cents per share, excluding one-time events, compared with $39 million, or 4 cents per share, a year ago. The company beat the estimated 9 cents a share by analysts polled by First Call and matched the so-called "whisper numbers" by Wall Street.
Although AOL saw its shares edge up once today, they traded much weaker in the afternoon, dropping 8.87 points to close at 144.12.
Online brokers E*Trade and Ameritrade finished the day with a hard hit, with E*Trade dropping 11 percent, or 13.25 points, to close at 106.18, and Ameritrade losing 13 points to 122.
PC hardware stocks also ended the day with dreary numbers, led by computer giant IBM, which lost 7 points to close at 205. Apple fell 1.86 to 44.06, Gateway fell 2.5 to 68.62, and Dell slipped 1.56 to 41.62. Hewlett-Packard fell .81 to 79.31, and Compaq dipped .56 to 23.68.
In the broader market, shares of manufacturer-related companies, such as Alcoa and DuPont, helped push the Dow higher. Government reports indicating pickups in U.S. factory orders and the Japanese economy boosted Dow's early rally, according to Bloomberg.
Bloomberg contributed to this report.