NEW YORK, New York U.S. stocks were directionless on Tuesday with little news for investors to weigh up.
General Electric caused some interest with plans announced that it would sell its oil services provider Baker Hughes for up to $4 billion. This reversed the weakness of recent days and sent the stock soaring. It closed up 7.8%.
Oil stocks were lower as the price of oil dived over concerns about demand.
Tech stocks which have been capturing most attention in recent sessions were little changed.
At the close of trading Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrials were down 100.69 points or 0.4% at 25,286.49.
The Standard and Poors 500 declined just 4.04 points or 0.15% to 2,722.18.
The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite inched up 0.01 of a point to 7,200.88.
On foreign exchange markets, the U.S. dollar lost its recent shine and ended down. The main news was that the British government had agreed a deal on Brexit with the European Union, although it still has to be put to the parliament where there is considerable opposition to the withdrawal plan.
The strength of the British pound and euro, regained in ithe New York session on Tuesday carried over to the Asian session. In mid-morning trading in Sydney on Wednesday the pound had recovered to 1.3027. The euro rose to 1.1314, while the Japanese yen edged up to 113.79.
The Swiss franc was changing hands at 1.00662, and the Canadian dollar at 1.32278.
The Australian dollar regained the 0.7200 handle and firmed to 0.7226. The New Zealand dollar did best of all, climbing to 0.6773.