Wall Street was little changed on Wednesday after Federal Reserve officials said they were still worried about labor market weakness and a report on the services sector showed only slight improvement in the economy.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) index showed the service sector hovered on the brink of expansion in December, while the ADP Employment Services report indicated 84,000 job losses in the private sector, compared with a forecast of 73,000.
Some Federal Reserve officials believed it might be desirable to step up asset purchases, Fed minutes from December released Wednesday showed. Officials were still worried about labor market weakness.
Earlier this week, November factory orders and the ISM December manufacturing survey came in stronger than expected, helping to drive stock indexes to their highest levels in over a year.
The latest economic numbers before today were well above consensus and fueled the thought of a V-shaped recovery, said Alan Lancz, president of Alan B. Lancz & Associates, an investment advisory firm in Toledo, Ohio.
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The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 8.16 points, or 0.08 percent, to 10,580.18. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> added 0.58 points, or 0.05 percent, to 1,137.10. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dropped 7.83 points, or 0.34 percent, to 2,300.88.
The less-than-inspiring ISM data weighed on service sectors, including telecommunications.
The S&P telecoms services index <.GSPT> dropped 0.6 percent, with CenturyTel Inc
The Nasdaq was pushed lower by losses in big-cap technology issues, including Apple Inc
Weighing on the Dow was Travelers Cos Inc
Diversified manufacturer 3M Co
Another bright spot was Family Dollar Stores Inc
Dow Chemical Co
(Reporting by Edward Krudy; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)