Kinahan said the market's apparent lack of direction makes sense, especially ahead of the Labor Day weekend and a highly anticipated speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Friday.
"There's no incentive to take a big trading position," he said. "Many people I know plan on taking a three-day weekend or are just coming in for the speech to see if (Bernanke) says anything interesting or market-moving. If not, they're outta there."
Among companies making news:
â¿¿ WellPoint, the second-largest health insurance company in the United States, jumped $4.41, or 8 percent, to $61.80 after its CEO resigned. Investors had been frustrated with Angela Braly because of disappointing results.â¿¿ H.J. Heinz posted a 14 percent jump in quarterly net income, driven by higher prices and emerging-market sales, but revenue fell and missed Wall Street expectations. Heinz stock dropped $1.29, or 2 percent, to $56.12. â¿¿ The clothing store chain Jos. A. Bank posted stronger sales and revenue than Wall Street expected, and its stock soared $5.81, or 14 percent, to $47.44. â¿¿ Sealed Air Corp., a food packaging company, jumped 12 percent, the S&P 500's biggest gain. A former Dow Chemical executive will take over when its current CEO retires. The company's stock gained $1.58 to $14.58.