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Stocks waver on Spain report, Mosaic miss

Oct. 03, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

NEW YORK -- Mixed signals on the world economy tugged on major stock indexes Tuesday.

The country's largest fertilizer company, Mosaic, said weak demand from China and India have hurt its profits. Mosaic, Dupont and stocks of other companies in the materials industry fell.

But utilities and health care stocks, where investors often retreat in a slow-growing economy, helped pull the Standard & Poor's 500 index above the break-even mark.

The S&P 500 index gained 1.26 to close at 1,445.75. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 32.75 points to 13,482.36. Dupont led the Dow lower, sinking 86 cents to $49.50.

The market could remain quiet until the government gives its monthly jobs report on Friday, said Paul Zemsky, chief investment officer of multi-asset strategies at ING Investment Management. Economists expect the unemployment rate increased to 8.2 percent in September from 8.1 percent in August.

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