Stocks pared modest losses just before the close after rising slightly after President Barack Obama delivered his plan for reducing the budget deficit by $4 trillion over 12 years, and as the Federal Reserve confirmed economic growth remains moderate across-the-country.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose about 10 points after fluctuating throughout the day, and following a commodity-led swoon in the previous session.
Among Dow components, Caterpillar and Kraft rose, while Boeing and Bank of America declined.
The S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq gained. If the S&P 500 closes lower today, it will mark the index's worst five-day losing streak since last July. The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, fell below 17.
Among key S&P 500 sectors, technology and utilities rose, while materials and financials slumped.
To reduce the deficit requires broad sacrifices, Obama said, adding that hewould not support renewal of the Bush-era tax cuts.
While the market took a more positive turn in the afternoon, trading was thin and largely directionless.
Asset managers who have to be invested are participating, "but they are waiting to see what happens," said Kenneth Polcari, managing director at ICAP Equities.Page 1 of 7 | Next Page