Wall Street capped a day of listless trading Tuesday with modest gains, narrowly avoiding a three-day losing streak for the S&P 500 index.
A last-minute burst of buying nudged the benchmark index into positive territory after spending most of the day flat or down.
Stocks have wavered between small gains and losses following a run of record highs last week. Investors have been mostly pausing ahead of two days of congressional testimony by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. Traders will be listening to the exchanges that Powell has with lawmakers today and Thursday for hints about the Fed’s next move on interest rates.
The S&P 500 rose 3.68 points, or 0.1%, to 2,979.63. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 22.65 points, or 0.1%, to 26,783.49.
The Nasdaq composite, which is heavily weighted with technology companies, gained 43.35 points, or 0.5%, to 8,141.73. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks added 1.20 points, or 0.1%, to 1,562.59.
Major stock indexes in Europe finished lower.
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.07% from 2.03% late Monday.
Energy futures closed broadly higher Tuesday. Benchmark crude oil gained 17 cents to settle at $57.83 a barrel. Brent crude oil, the international standard, rose 5 cents to close at $64.16 a barrel.