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Roller-Coaster Trading Yields Mixed Close on Wall Street

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Stocks were mixed Tuesday, a day that was all about earnings as surges in Dow Chemical, Alcoa and other materials companies were offset by slumps in some big household names.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 46 points at 16,414.44 after a roller coaster of a session. The blue chips index had been up more than 60 points and down more than 140 during Tuesday trading. The Nasdaq Composite gained 28 points to close at another 13-year high of 4,225.76. The S&P 500 finished up 5 points at 1,843.80 for the day.

Two Dow components, Verizon Communications and health-care giant Johnson & Johnson, both fell more than a percent Tuesday after delivering mixed earnings results.  Both companies reported higher net income than analysts had predicted, but investors seemed to be more focused on the outlook for the coming year.

Dow Chemical climbed $2.76 a share on word it could spin off its petrochemicals division.  Alcoa surged 76 cents after analysts predicted the company would benefit from a tightening aluminum market.

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