Stocks were mixed Wednesday afternoon, with the Nasdaq composite holding on to gains as the technology sector made a decent showing.

The Nasdaq was up 0.3% and trading above the 50-day moving average, which has become an important guidepost for the market's short-term direction. In a negative for the Nasdaq, it dropped below the June highs starting with last Thursday's sell-off.

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average reversed lower but today's price ranges for both were small, so it does not seem like such a bearish move. Apple (AAPL) leapt 5% after its strong earnings report and was leading the Dow. The industrials were off 0.3% and the S&P 500 0.1%.

Apple, the largest stock by market capitalization, also was a positive force in the Nasdaq and S&P 500. Small caps lagged, with the Russell 2000 off 0.5%.

Volume was lower on the NYSE and higher on the Nasdaq compared with the same time Tuesday....MORE
Tesla's up a couple bucks coming into earnings.