Stocks are closing not far from where they started after the Federal Reserve released minutes from its most recent meeting that showed members of the central bank are split about inflation.
The Fed thinks the economy is improving, but some members raised concerns that higher energy prices could weaken the recovery.
Fears that inflation could increase pushed materials companies higher as traders anticipated higher prices for commodities.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 6 points, or 0.1 percent, to 12,394. The S&P 500 was essentially unchanged at 1,333. The Nasdaq composite rose 2, or 0.1 percent, to 2,791.
Rising shares narrowly outpaced falling shares on the New York Stock Exchange. Consolidated volume came to 3.9 billion shares.
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