Stocks were little changed on Wednesday after data showed the U.S. services sector grew in December, but at a marginal pace.
The Institute for Supply Management said its services index rose to 50.1 from 48.7 in November. The reading was below economists' forecast of 50.5, according to a Reuters survey. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.
The overall number was pretty good, but it wasn't especially positive. There's still a lot to be desired. I think this will be overlooked in trading though, since there wasn't a huge shock in the headline number, said Dan Cook, senior market analyst at IG Markets in Chicago.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 2.04 points, or 0.02 percent, at 10,574.06. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 0.99 points, or 0.09 percent, at 1,135.53. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 1.95 points, or 0.08 percent, at 2,306.76.
In corporate news, Family Dollar Stores Inc
Dow Chemical Co
U.S. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd was to announce he will not seek re-election, sources said. The Connecticut Democrat has been dogged by questions over his financial industry connections and faces a tough re-election bid. The S&P Financial Index <.GSPF> was down 0.1 percent.
In other economic data, the ADP Employer Services report showed a smaller-than-expected slowdown in job losses in December. ADP is a precursor to the closely watched government non-farm payrolls report due Friday. Economists look for a loss of 8,000 non-farm jobs after a surprisingly small total of 11,000 job losses in November.
At 2 p.m. EST, the Federal Open Market Committee will release minutes from its mid-December meeting.
(Additional Reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)