Updated from 4:08 p.m. EDT
Blue-chips closed near the unchanged market Wednesday, but tech issues managed to post modest gains. Volume was again light as traders held positions ahead of economic news due out later in the week.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
fell 6.66 points to 9333.79. The
gained 11.48 points to 1782.13, and the
rose 0.06 points to 996.79.
Treasuries were lower, with the 10-year note down 10/32 at 97 28/32, yielding 4.52%.
Economic news was scarce Wednesday. The Mortgage Bankers Association said its refinancing index fell for the eighth week in a row, dropping 21.3% from a week earlier because of spiking mortgage rates. Investors will get a revised reading on second-quarter GDP growth and initial jobless claims Thursday.
"People are waiting for the GDP report," said Peter Dunay, a trader at Wall Street Access. "If the report shows the economy is not ramping up as much as people hope, it could be a problem."
Approximately 1.05 billion shares traded on the
New York Stock Exchange
, while about 1.33 billion shares moved on the Nasdaq.
"There is so little going on that every move was easily magnified," said Ben Hovermale, a trader at Wells Capital Management. "It shows you how much easier it is to move a market when it is so quiet."
A couple of stocks had big moves Wednesday.
rallied $5.54, or 26%, to $26.75 on news of a pact with
to market its insulin drug. The agreement awaits regulatory approval.
climbed $3.08, or 16.7%, to $21.49. The company posted a decline in second-quarter profits and sales, but also named a new chief executive, and the shares reacted by rising.
David Briggs, head of equity trading for Federated Investors, said that he is optimistic about how the market will perform when participants return after the Labor Day holiday weekend.
"The next break in the market is going to be up," Briggs said. "I think that investors will be surprised about how much they have when they come back to work. They will be looking for stocks to buy."
Within sectors, Wednesday's market saw chip and high-tech stocks gain along with gold, retail and pharmaceuticals. Banking, oil, transportation and utility indices finished lower.
was bid up 85 cents, or 2%, to $43.65 after saying same-store sales are trending above its prior guidance, which called for no change.
The news followed similar announcements this week from
added 33 cents, or 0.8%, to $40.28 after it increased its dividend by 6.3%, the high end of analysts' forecasts, to an annualized rate of $2.72 a share. The increase follows a 20% dividend boost by
Among analyst actions, Morgan Stanley cut
to equal-weight from overweight, citing concerns that the wireless infrastructure group could underperform the broader market. Shares of Motorola ended flat.
Meanwhile, voice and data-networking provider
was raised to market perform from underperform at U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray on optimism about the company's products and earnings. 3Com also said it's teaming up with
to jointly develop and market corporate communications solutions. 3Com shares closed up 32 cents, or 5.9%, at $5.72. Aspect finished lower 13 cents, or 1.6%, to $8.15.
Prudential initiated coverage of
with buy ratings. The firm also started
with hold ratings.
Household products makers
gained after Banc of America upgraded them to buy, saying valuations seem attractive.
Online marketing agency
rose 17 cents, or 1.6%, to $11.01 although it said third-quarter net income will be 2 cents below expectations because of charges related to a lease closing in San Francisco.
placed Lewis Booth, former president of its Japanese affiliate Mazda, at the helm of its European operations, as part of an effort to cut costs and reduce losses.
And tax preparer
reported a profit in its fiscal first quarter and easily beat analysts' expectations, thanks to a strong showing in its mortgage division. Shares rose $1.42, or 3.4%, to $43.16.
European markets ended higher. London's FTSE 100 rose 0.7% to 4205.5, and Germany's Xetra DAX added 0.7% to 3480. Stocks fell in Asia. Japan's Nikkei closed 0.2% lower at 10,309, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.7% to 10,678.
After a late rally Tuesday, the Dow ended up 22.81 points, or 0.2%, to 9340.45. The Nasdaq rose 6.34 points, or 0.4%, to 1770.65, and the S&P 500 advanced 3.02 points, or 0.3%, to 996.73.