By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks were little changed on Tuesday as investors paused after two choppy sessions before a flurry of data and Federal Reserve speakers that may sway investor sentiment on the likelihood the central bank may trim its stimulus measures.
After a sharp selloff on Friday, the S&P 500 recovered some of the declines in Monday's session when weaker-than-expected manufacturing data buttressed the belief the Fed will keep its economic stimulus in place.
Many investors are likely to hold off big bets until the non-farm payrolls report due on Friday shows the employment situation, the key factor for the Fed's monetary policy.
On Wednesday, the market will get an anecdotal look at economic conditions from the Fed's Beige Book, labor market conditions in the form of the ADP employment report, and ISM services data.
"With no real catalysts to push us in one direction or another but with plenty of catalysts on the horizon I am not surprised to see markets trending sideways," said Art Hogan, managing director at Lazard Capital Markets in New York.
Trading on Tuesday could be volatile later in the session as several Federal Reserve officials will be speaking in public, including Fed Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin, Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Esther George and Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher.
"We tend to overreact and shoot first when we get Fed commentary these days, and unless you read the program and notice which jersey the particular Fed speaker is wearing, meaning are they a voter or non-voter, the market can overreact," said Hogan.
Intraday swings have increased in recent weeks as minutes from the central bank's most recent meeting and testimony from Chairman Ben Bernanke to Congress heightened concerns the Fed may reduce its bond-buying program sooner than expected.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.dji> gained 2.69 points, or 0.02 percent, to 15,256.72. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.spx> added 0.78 points, or 0.05 percent, to 1,641.20. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.ixic> advanced 9.87 points, or 0.28 percent, to 3,475.24.</.ixic></.spx></.dji>
In corporate news, web-based software maker Salesforce.com Inc said it would buy marketing software provider ExactTarget for $2.5 billion. Salesforce.com shares lost 2.8 percent to $39.90 while ExactTraget shares surged 52.5 percent to $33.70.
U.S. regulators proposed designating American International Group Inc , Prudential Financial Inc and GE Capital for heightened regulatory oversight in a long-anticipated move aimed at cracking down on risks to markets. Prudential shares gained 0.5 percent to $69.95 and GE dipped 0.3 percent to $23.58.
S&P Dow Jones Indexes said after the close on Monday that AIG and General Motors Co will rejoin the S&P 500 index after the close of trading on June 6. GM shares climbed 1.9 percent to $35.08 and AIG shed 0.6 percent to $44.48.
Earlier, data showed the U.S. trade deficit widened in April as a rise in imports offset a rebound in exports, suggesting that trade remained a drag on economic growth as the second quarter started.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Nick Zieminski)