Stocks were nearly flat on Wednesday, letting investors hold on to their gains from a strong opening to the year a day earlier. Strong December sales boosted carmakers and specialty retailers. Banks, health care companies, and utilities fell slightly. But nothing moved much. The flattish day followed a 180-point surge in the Dow Jones industrial average on Tuesday, the first trading day of the year.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 21.04 points, or 0.17 percent, at 12,418.42.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 0.24 points, or 0.02 percent, at 1,277.30.
The Nasdaq fell 0.36 points, or 0.01 percent, to 2,648.36.
For the week and year to date:
The Dow has risen 200.86 points, or 1.6 percent.
The S&P 500 has risen 19.70 points, or 1.6 percent.
The Nasdaq has risen 43.21 points, or 1.7 percent.