Stocks waver on Spain report

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

The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 1.26 to close at 1,445.75. The Nasdaq composite rose 6.51 points to 3,120.04. 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.

Mr. Zemsky said a surprise swing up or down "could change the direction of the stock market and the presidential election."

Indexes took a turn lower at midday after Spain's prime minister said that he's not preparing a request for a bailout loan. Traders have been anticipating that the Spanish government would ask for help for nearly a month. Spain needs to ask for money from Europe's bailout fund before the European Central Bank can start buying Spanish government bonds.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note slipped to 1.61 percent from 1.63 percent late Monday after Spain's prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, said a bailout request wasn't coming.

Investors are looking ahead to quarterly earnings, which begin in earnest when the aluminum company Alcoa reports results Oct. 9.

Among other stocks that made big moves Tuesday:

• News that Deutsche Telekom, which owns T-Mobile USA, said it may buy the Dallas-based cellphone carrier MetroPCS Communications sent MetroPCS's stock up 18 percent to $13.57.

• PetSmart rose 99 cents to $68.55. Standard & Poor's said the pet-store chain will replace Sunoco in the S&P 500 index at the end of trading Thursday. The S&P 500 is the most commonly used benchmark for stock mutual funds. When a company joins the index, mutual fund managers are more likely to buy it. Sunoco was bought by Energy Transfer Partners.

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