Stocks are modestly higher after struggling to find direction much of the day amid light volume and ahead of a week filled with economic data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Averagewas up more than 40 points after ending the previous session modestly higher.
Chevron, Merck,and IBM rose. Hewlett-Packard and American Express fell.
The S&P 500and Nasdaq were slightly higher. The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, fell below 22.
Consumer discretionary, energy and health care gained, while utilities and technology slipped.
All the major indexes are up more than 4 percent for the month so far, although volume has been light. Fewer than 1 billion shares have changed hands daily on the New York Stock Exchange this week.
"Volume is still very, very light in this market, and news is light as well," said Alan Gayle, senior investment strategist at RidgeWorth Investments. "The market is drifting higher in the absence of any definitive, fundamental news."
In the technology sector, HP shares fell more than 1 percent following news U.S. investigators are widening their probe of alleged kickbacks paid to Russian authorities by employees of a Hewlett-Packard subsidiary in Germany.Page 1 of 5 | Next Page