Stocks ended flat to slightly higher after fluctuating throughout the session 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 7.41 points, or 0.06 percent, to close at 12,270.99, following a commodity-led swoon in the previous session.
Among Dow components, Caterpillar and Kraft rose, while Bank of America and Boeing declined.
The S&P 500 gained 0.25 points, or 0.02 percent, to close at 1,314.41, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 16.73 points, or 0.6 percent, to close at 2,761.52.
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 financials and materials 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