Today is Wednesday. It is sunny in here.
After two big days, it was time for the stock market to take a break.
The Dow fell 5.67, or 0.1 percent, to 9,725.58. The S&P 500 index rose 2.86, or 0.3 percent, to 1,057.58, while the Nasdaq composite index rose 6.76, or 0.3 percent, to 2,110.33.
Even with the recent gains, stocks are still down during the past two weeks as labor and manufacturing reports have fallen short of expectations. Analysts expect the earnings reports and forecasts that arrive in the coming weeks to have a big influence on the market's direction through the end of the year.
Many companies beat modest earnings expectations in the second quarter by cutting costs. That helped fuel the market's rally through the summer. Now, investors are hoping to see stronger sales driving earnings, which would signal some steadying in consumer spending. Many analysts remain skeptical.
Gold ended higher after hitting a new high of $1,049.70 an ounce. Prices rose $4.70 to $1,044.40.
Oil fell $1.31 to settle at $69.57 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Investors have been tracking the dollar, which has fallen this year amid rock-bottom interest rates and massive government spending. A weak dollar is good for profits of companies with a strong global operations because it encourages overseas customers to buy
Bond prices rose after an auction of 10-year notes drew strong demand. That pushed down the yield on the 10-year Treasury note to 3.19 percent from 3.26 percent late Tuesday.