U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday in listless trading, with many investors on the sidelines digesting earnings and geopolitical events while waiting for more heavy-hitting economic indicators.
At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow 30 rose 0.09%, the S&P 500 index ended the session largely unchanged at a record-high 2000.12, while the NASDAQ Composite index inched down 0.02%.
The Volatility S&P 500 index, which measures the outlook for market volatility, was up 1.29% at 11.78.
Profit taking flattened stocks on Wednesday, as markets began to view valuations as in need of a breather.
On Thursday, investors will track revised U.S. gross domestic product data, weekly initial jobless claims and a report on pending home sales, with many hoping the indicators will shed light on the pace of U.S. recovery as well as the future of monetary policy.
Ongoing geopolitical concerns kept investors at bay as well.
Ukraine continued to accuse Russian forces of crossing its border one day after leaders from both countries agreed to find ways to end the separatist war raging in the eastern reaches of the country.
Elsewhere, luxury goods retailer Tiffany & Co (NYSE:TIF) raised its 2014 outlook, while firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ:SWHC) cut its full-year profit forecast.
Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH), up 1.49%, Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE), up 0.91%, and AT&T Inc (NYSE:T), up 0.71%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX), down 0.54%, 3M Company (NYSE:MMM), down 0.45%, and International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM), down 0.39%.
European indices, meanwhile, ended the day mixed.
After the close of European trade, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 fell 0.15%, France's CAC 40 rose 0.04%, while Germany's DAX fell 0.19%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 rose 0.12%.