NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market drifted between slight gains and losses Tuesday. Encouraging news about the housing market and trade helped nudge stocks up in early trading, but by midday indexes were little changed.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up one point at 15,255 as of 11:25 a.m.
"We are going nowhere fast," said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management in Minneapolis. "You gotta believe that people are getting ready for the end of the week."
That's when the Labor Department releases its closely watched monthly jobs survey. A strong report on Friday would normally send the stock market up. But this time around, investors are also trying to guess when the Federal Reserve may start pulling back its support for the economy.
Real estate data provider CoreLogic reported that home prices jumped 12 percent in April from a year earlier, the biggest gain since February 2006.
The government reported that the country's trade deficit in April was narrower than economists had expected.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose one point to 1,641.The Nasdaq composite rose seven points to 3,472, an increase of 0.2 percent. Telecommunication companies led the 10 industry groups in the S&P 500, climbing 1 percent.
General Motors gained 2 percent on news that the company will be added to the S&P 500 index on Thursday, replacing H.J. Heinz Co. The ketchup maker's acquisition is getting bought by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and the private equity firm 3G Capital. GM was up 75 cents to an even $35.17.
Dollar General slumped 8 percent, the biggest drop in the S&P 500. The discount-store chain cut its earnings and revenue forecast for the year ahead because it expects sales to slow. Dollar General's stock dropped $4.06 to $49.48.
SAIC dropped 1 percent, or 13 cents, to $14.75. The security and communications technology company posted a 31 percent drop in quarterly earnings late Monday, as government spending cuts crimped SAIC's revenue.
In the market for U.S. government bonds, the yield on the 10-year note was 2.14 percent, up from 2.12 percent late Monday.