US STOCKS-Materials lift S&P 500 in volatile session, Dow lower

Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:20pm EST
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* Dow Chemical jumps on Third Point stake

* Verizon, Travelers and J&J all fall after results

* 70 S&P 500 companies to report earnings this week

* Dow off 0.3 pct, S&P up 0.2 pct, Nasdaq up 0.5 pct

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, Jan 21 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks mostly rose on Tuesday, putting the S&P 500 on pace to snap a two-session decline as material stocks rallied, though the Dow fell on disappointing earnings by three of its components.

Trading was volatile, with the S&P fluctuating between positive and negative territory throughout the session, while the Dow moved between modest and solid losses and the Nasdaq swung between modest and strong gains.

The S&P materials index rose 0.9 percent as the best performing of the 10 major S&P indexes, led by a 4.9 percent gain in Dow Chemical to $45.18. Activist investor and hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb has taken a stake in the company and wants it to spin off its petrochemical arm.

In addition, Alcoa Inc jumped 8.1 percent to $12.28 following an upgrade to "overweight" from JPMorgan. The firm also lifted its price target on the aluminum company to $15 from $9.   Continued...