The Dow and S&P slipped on Wednesday as JPMorgan Chase & Co's strong profit growth was not enough to convince investors that quarterly earnings would propel stocks out of the recent trading range.

While the S&P was on track for its fifth straight day of losses, the Nasdaq inched higher with help from tech shares a day after Riverbed Technology Inc raised its quarterly outlook. The stock surged 14 percent to $35.14 while competitor F5 Networks Inc was one of the top gainers on the Nasdaq 100 <.NDX>, up 2.9 percent.

JPMorgan shares slipped 1 percent at $46.19 after rising more than 1 percent earlier. The Dow component beat expectations with its profit, but enthusiasm waned after the bank's chief executive said in a conference call there would not be another dividend hike soon.

People are getting the sense that no matter what these companies say, the easy money has already been made, so it will be tough to see further upward movement, said Rick Fier, vice president at Conifer Securities in New York, which has about $7 billion in assets under administration.

The Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund fell 0.8 percent while Bank of America , which is slated to report results later this week, fell 1.2 percent to $13.31.

Financials have struggled in the first quarter of 2011, with low volume. The KBW Banks index <.BKX> is down 0.8 percent since the start of the year, compared with gains of 4.3 percent in the S&P.

Given the run we've seen, some people are cutting back on long exposure, but not to the point where they're taking a directional bet, he added. We're in a range and I don't see people setting up for either a breakout or a breakdown.

President Barack Obama proposed cutting ballooning U.S. budget deficits by $4 trillion over 12 years and called for talks with Democratic and Republican lawmakers to address the worsening fiscal woes. Stocks showed little impact from Obama's


The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 7.42 points, or 0.06 percent, at 12,256.16. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 1.51 points, or 0.11 percent, at 1,312.65. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 8.29 points, or 0.30 percent, at 2,753.08.

Stocks tumbled on Tuesday after Alcoa Inc reported weak revenue, which sparked concerns about the earnings season. Bespoke Investment Group said that since 2001, whenever both Alcoa and the S&P decline on the first day of earnings, the S&P's average return over the remainder of the season is minus 0.98 percent.

It's too early into the season to tell whether it will be considered a broadly strong quarter, but we may not see a beat rate similar to what we've seen in quarters past, said Liz Ann Sonders, the New York-based chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab, which has $1.6 trillion in client assets.

Retail sales rose only modestly in March as auto sales plunged and consumers stretched to pay for pricey gasoline, but upward revisions to the prior months' data pointed to fairly solid first-quarter spending.

The Federal Reserve will release its Beige Book of regional economic conditions at 2:00 p.m. (1800 GMT).

(Editing by Kenneth Barry)