Stocks were little changed today after surrendering early gains that briefly repaired the remaining damage from Friday's sell-off.
At 3 p.m., the Dow Jones industrial average was up 30.64 at 8,564.29. The Dow finished 77 points lower Friday after rebounding more than 200 points from a 283-point plunge.
Broader stock indicators turned mixed as investors, shaken by Friday's sudden decline, used the market's opening bounce to pull some money off the table.
Friday's downturn was sparked by fears that the economic crisis in Asia and Russia is spreading to Latin America. Complicating matters were worries about potential reprisals for last week's U.S. missile attacks on suspected terrorist sites in Afghanistan and Sudan.
"We do have some clouds on the horizon," said James Walline, manager of the $1.2 billion Lutheran Brotherhood Fund.
Still, "you've got falling interest rates and earnings that are slightly higher," which indicates stocks won't drop much further, he said. The Dow industrials are down 8.7 percent from their July 17 high.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 8.04 at 1089.22, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index was down 1.91 at 1795.70.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers by nearly a narrow margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 376.92 million shares, down sharply from Friday's brisk pace.
Monsanto Co. rose 4 1/8 to 61 5/8 after the company said its experimental painkilling drug, one of a new class of drugs with multibillion-dollar sales potential, will get a faster-than-usual review by U.S. regulators.
Other drugmakers also gained. Investors prize drug companies for their ability to post steady earnings growth even in a slowing economy. Merck & Co. rose 2 7/8 to 131 7/8 , leading the Dow average's advance American Home Products Corp. rose 4 1/8 to 57 3/8 .
Telephone shares also rallied, as investors sought the safety of relatively high dividends. The stocks in the S&P Telephone Index yield 2.87 percent versus 1.45 percent for the S&P 500.
BellSouth Corp. rose 1 7/8 to 68 5/1 6, AllTel Corp. gained 1 9/1 6 to 43 and SBC Communications Corp. rose 1 1/1 6 to 40 3/4 .