Stocks were little changed on Wednesday as cautious investors awaited the Federal Reserve's statement on monetary policy that is expected to include measures to support the economy.
Technology stocks were top gainers early in the session, boosted by Oracle Corp
The Fed, ending a two-day policy meeting later Wednesday, is expected to announce a rebalancing of its bond portfolio weighted more heavily to longer-term securities, pushing already-low long-term interest rates even lower in a move dubbed Operation Twist.
The Fed will issue a statement at about 2:15 p.m.
With the S&P at 1,200, the market has priced in some sort of positive support from the Fed, whether that be Operation Twist or more, said Joseph Greco, managing director at Meridian Equity Partners in New York. There is really no playbook here, but the market is anticipating and hoping for that support.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> fell 30.43 points, or 0.27 percent, at 11,378.23. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 5.38 points, or 0.45 percent, at 1,196.71. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> added 1.12 points, or 0.04 percent, at 2,591.36.
Also supporting the Nasdaq, design software maker Adobe Systems Inc
In the latest economic data, existing home sales rose more than expected in August to the fastest annual pace since March, helped by falling prices and low interest rates, the National Association of Realtors said.
(Reporting by Angela Moon; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)