* TSX ends up 21.04 points, or 0.17 pct, at 12,391.23 * Eight of 10 sectors stronger By Claire Sibonney TORONTO, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index eked out a small gain on Tuesday in volatile trade as cautious investors received mixed signals about Spain's readiness to seek a bailout, and investors awaited the next big catalyst to drive markets after a strong third quarter. It was the second straight positive day at the start of the new quarter. The TSX finished the last quarter up more than 6 percent, as energy companies and miners benefited from a strong showing in crude and bullion prices. On the TSX on Tuesday, firmer energy and financial shares outweighed weakness in materials issues. The index outperformed Wall Street amid questions about the upcoming earnings season. "We have just completed the quarter, so a lot of people are now realigning their positions and they're going to take a few days to look ahead to this quarter," said Ron Meisels, technical analyst and president of Phases & Cycles in Montreal. "A positive quarter usually signals good earnings to come." Among the most influential names on the upside, Cenovus Energy jumped 2 percent to C$35.25. Canadian Natural Resources and Suncor Energy advanced 0.9 percent to C$32.93. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended up 21.04 points, or 0.2 percent, at 12,391.23. Eight of the 10 sectors were positive, including financials, up 0.1 percent. The TSX drifted between positive and negative territory for most of the day, as enthusiasm on signs that a bailout request from Spain was fast approaching faded. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said a request for European aid was not imminent following a report the country could apply for help soon. Germany has signaled that Madrid should hold off on making its request, according to European officials on Monday. Among the decliners on the TSX, precious metal miners and fertilizer companies reversed some of the previous day's rally. Potash Corp lost 2.4 percent to C$41.97 and Goldcorp Inc was down 1.1 percent to C$44.93.