Updated from 4:05 p.m. EDT

After spending much of the month rallying on mixed economic news, stocks sat still Tuesday following some roundly positive data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed flat at 9323. The Nasdaq rose almost 2 points, or 0.1%, to 1668, while the S&P 500 was virtually unchanged at 1011.

"I still expect the markets to move higher from here. Not a rocket ship to the sky, but higher than where it is today by year-end," said Douglas Altabef, market analyst at Matrix Asset Advisors. "This is typical of a recovery from a bear market, with stocks surreptitiously gaining a great deal of ground back."

The consumer price index was unchanged in May, while economists had been expecting a 0.1% decline, following a 0.3% drop in April. The core inflation number, excluding food and energy, rose a more-than-expected 0.3%.

The housing sector continued to be strong, as home starts hit 1.732 million in May and housing permits reached 1.788 million, both above initial forecasts. Industrial production rose a slightly higher-than-expected 0.1% in May, from a 0.6% decline the prior month. Capacity utilization, a measure of how much companies are using their fixed resources, stayed practically unchanged at 74.4%, within economists' estimates.

On the New York Stock Exchange, 17 stocks fell for every 15 that rose, with 1.5 billion shares traded. Almost 1.9 billion shares traded hands at the Nasdaq, with advancers slightly ahead of decliners.

One of the sectors with the most selling was biotech, with the Nasdaq biotech index down 1.5%.

"The problem with a few sectors is valuation, particularly tech and biotech. These are highly volatile areas which are clearly way overvalued or returning to their late nineties valuations," noted Jim Melcher, president and market strategist at Balestra Capital.

Analysts were busy again on Wall Street. AT&T ( T), after Merrill Lynch downgraded it to sell from neutral, citing a slow enterprise recovery and continued competition in the consumer area. The brokerage expects revenue at the phone company to fall this year and next. AT&T shares dropped $1, or 4.8%, to $20.06.

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