The Dow Jones industrial average fell 9.98 to 5,510.56, having recovered from a midday loss of nearly 50 points.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by 1,206 to 1,177 on the New York Stock Exchange. NYSE volume totaled 396.72 million shares vs. 516.51 million in the previous session.
Broad-market indexes were mostly higher.
The NYSE composite rose 0.20 to 346.84, and the S&P 500 index gained 0.52 to 646.19.
The Nasdaq composite index fell 4.06 to 1,102.30, and the American Stock Exchange's market value index advanced 0.68 to 549.77.
Yesterday, earnings fears sent stocks plunging as disappointing outlooks from leading players in the technology and health care industries jostled a market.
Bond prices rose again today, continuing yesterday's move into less risky investments with more stable returns. The effective yield on the 30-year Treasury bond, a key determinant of corporate and consumer borrowing costs, eased toward 7 percent as its price rose.
Some of yesterday's worst-hit issues regained their footing today. United HealthCare Corp., which fell about 30 percent yesterday, rebounded slightly today in New York Stock Exchange trading. Hewlett-Packard Co. shares, which were off $10.621/2 yesterday, slipped 371/2 cents today also on the NYSE.