NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks remained flat near record levels on Wednesday and while overall trading was thin, a number of retail stocks attracted outsized action after reporting results.
Both Tiffany & Co and Express Inc rose after posting second-quarter revenue that topped expectations and raising their full-year profit views. Shares of Tiffany rose 1.3 percent to $102.08 while Express jumped 12 percent to $16.38 on volume that easily eclipsed its 50-day average.
On the downside, Chico's FAS Inc fell 3.2 percent to $15.51 after its results.
Best Buy Co Inc was the S&P 500's biggest percentage gainer, up 5 percent at $31.28, rebounding from a drop of 6.8 percent on Tuesday. That weakness came after the electronics retailer forecast a drop in full-year sales.
The trading range for major indexes was among the narrowest of the year. Volume was depressed by the upcoming Labor Day holiday in the United States, with some market participants away on vacation.
"Volume is ridiculously slow, some of the slowest it has been in years, but sometimes you can make more money sitting on your hands," said Michael Matousek, head trader at U.S. Global Investors Inc in San Antonio. "There aren't many reasons to sell right now, and no one is trying to force any trades."
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 13.75 points or 0.08 percent, to 17,120.45, the S&P 500 gained 0.43 of a point or 0.02 percent, to 2,000.45 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.87 points or 0.02 percent, to 4,571.50.
A mere 4.54 points separated the S&P 500's high and low on Wednesday, making for the narrowest one-day trading range since July 2.
Equities have been strong of late, with the S&P 500 closing above 2,000 for the first time on Tuesday in its 30th record close of the year, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. The Dow also hit an intraday record high on Tuesday, though it failed to end at an all-time closing high.
Analog Devices Inc was one of the S&P 500's biggest decliners, off 3.2 percent at $50.56 a day after reporting third-quarter results.
Digital Ally Inc fell 13 percent to $12.46 on heavy volume, pulling back after a massive rally that had driven the stock's price up 223 percent in August alone. The wearable camera maker has reported heightened demand since Aug. 9, when a white police officer shot and killed an unarmed black teen in Ferguson, Missouri, triggering weeks of protests.
The tension between Russia and Ukraine has faded as a market driver, though investors continue to closely monitor the situation. In comments that could escalate the standoff, however, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said Kiev knew of plans by Russia to halt gas flows this winter to Europe, something Russia later denied.
(Reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; Editing by James Dalgleish)