Stocks erased nearly all of their losses Thursday as Goldman Sachs and BP rallied just before the closing bell.
Stocks had been down for most of the day after JPMorgan's earnings failed to impress analysts and a pair of weak manufacturing reports.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 7.41, or 0.1 percent, to close at 10,359.31, after being down more than 100 points earlier. The loss was small but it still snapped a seven-day winning streak.
The S&P 500 eked out a 0.1-percent gain, while the Nasdaq slipped less than a tenth of a percent. The CBOE volatility index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, was just shy of 25 at the closing bell.
US-traded shares of BP jumped over 7 percent as the oil giant appeared to get the massive Gulf oil leak capped after 86 days.
And Goldman Sachs gained more than 4 percent amid speculation that an SEC announcement this afternoon will be to announce a $550 million settlement with Goldman in the securities-fraud case against the company.
But overall, bank stocks were among the day's biggest decliners after JPMorganbeat earnings expectations but failed to impress analysts.
Rochdale banking analyst Dick Bove said this wasn't a good reportand that he would've liked to see better revenue from the bank. This came after the bank's CEO Jamie Dimon delivered a cautious forecast, saying, "It is too early to say how much improvement we will see from here."
But S&P Equity raised its price target on JPMorgan to $50.
Bank of America and Citigroup declined ahead of results from the banks at the end of the week. Both banks are expected to post decent results, helped by asset sales, but neither are expected to see an increase in their profits.
Financial-reform legislation won final approvalin the Senate, capping a year of back-and-forth since President Obama proposed financial reform in June 2009.
Boeing shares slipped after the aerospace giant announced there may be another delay on its 787 Dreamliner, which is already more than two years behind schedule.
Tech stocks dropped more than 1 percent, despite getting a boost yesterday from Intel's earnings results.
Apple shares fell 0.5 percent after the company announced late Wednesday that it will hold a news conference on Friday to talk about the iPhone 4, the subject of many reports about reception problems. Apple wouldn't give further details ahead of the conference, but the buzz on the Internet is that it may recall the phone.
Meanwhile, shares of Apple's rivals Nokia , Research In Motion and Motorola climbed.
Investors shrugged off another encouraging data point for the tech sector: World-wide PC shipments jumped over 22 percentin the second quarter as businesses are increasingly replacing their aging technology, research firm IDC reported.
"Commercial replacements continue to grow," IDC analyst Bob O'Donnell said. However, O'Donnell said consumer activity has started to slow.
Dell shares rose after the computer maker moved up the ladder of top computer makers to No. 2, behind Hewlett-Packard . Taiwanese PC maker Acer is No. 3.