NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks closed flat Wednesday, despite improving signs for the economy in data and the Federal Reserve's beige book, after President Obama called on lawmakers to push forward on health care reform.
The beige book, which examines anecdotal economic conditions throughout the country, was released at 2 p.m. EST. The report found that while economic activity remains slow, the 12 districts reported modest improvements that were more widespread than the central bank's last report. The beige book, which will be used as a reference for the Federal Open Market Committee's meeting on March 16, also found housing and labor markets remain weak, and price pressures continue to be subdued.
But in a speech at about the same time, President Obama urged Congress to schedule a final vote on a health care bill, saying that the debate over the legislation has run its course.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV