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 gained 11.7 percent to $30.67 after the retailer reported first-quarter earnings that beat expectations. And 99 Cents Only Stores gained 7 percent to $14.27.

Walgreen Co fell nearly 1 percent to $36.68 after the company said sales at its drugstores open for at least a year fell in December instead of rising as Wall Street had expected.

Dow Chemical Co jumped nearly 3 percent to $31.35 after Barclays Capital upgraded the stock to overweight from equal-weight.

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)