Updated from 4:15 p.m. ESTStocks closed slightly higher Friday, but next week's Federal Reserve meeting and the prospect of more rate hikes kept buyers from rushing in after positive Google ( GOOG) news and talk of a trans-Atlantic telecom merger. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the session up 9.68 points, or 0.09%, to 11,279.97, and the S&P 500 added 1.28 points, or 0.1%, to 1302.95. The Nasdaq rose 12.67 points, or 0.55%, to 2312.82. The market rallied in the morning on news from the Commerce Department that new homes sold at an annualized pace of 1.08 million in February, missing the 1.2 million consensus. The soft number briefly soothed interest-rate worries. But, at least for blue chips, buyers grew weary as the session wore on. Durable-goods orders rose by 2.6% last month, stronger than expected, but the headline number obscured the fact that nondefense capital goods orders excluding aircraft fell by 2.3%, vs. expectations for a 1.0% increase. This component is considered a proxy for business investment. The 10-year Treasury bond ended the day up 17/32 in price to yield 4.67%, while the dollar slumped against the euro and the yen. "The market is really fighting right now with whether the Fed has tightened enough," says Brian Wesbury, chief economist with First Trust Advisors. "You get a little weakness in durables and definite weakness in new-home sales, and everyone said the Fed is almost done, but if you really dig in and look, the economy is still in great shape." A fed funds hike to 4.75% from 4.50% is a foregone conclusion, with the market most interested in the statement that will accompany the announcement. Interest rate watchers will inspect the wording for clues to how much more tightening central bankers believe the economy can handle.