Stocks had started the day lower after weak results from Texas Instruments, U.S. Steel and Bristol-Myers Squibb. A better report about consumer confidence in October helped stocks pare their losses in midday trading Tuesday.
Ford and Coach are among the few bright spots in the big batch of earnings released earlier in the day.
The Dow Jones industrial average is down 13, or 0.1 percent, at 11,152. The S&P 500 is down 2, or 0.1 percent, at 1,184, while the Nasdaq composite is up 3, or 0.1 percent, at 2,494.