Markets closed up today:
▼ Dow: -0.06 percent
▲ Nasdaq: +0.46 percent
▲ S&P: +0.11 percent
▲ Gold: up +0.32 percent to $1,603.87 an ounce
▲ Silver: up +0.04 percent to settle at $27.80
▲ Oil: +0.77 percent
Markets were up because:
Some decent economic news caused markets to bounce back after a day of back-and-forth trading.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed with a loss of 7.36 points at 13,164.78. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 1.60 points at 1,405.53 and the Nasdaq composite rose 13.95 points to 3,030.93.
U.S. industrial production increased last month as factories produced more cars, computers, and airplanes, according to the Federal Reserve. It was some welcome news after a weak spring.
Also, consumer prices were unchanged in July from June, as a small drop in energy costs offset slightly higher food prices. The consumer price index hasn't changed since March, which means that inflation is in check.
The bond market is betting that the Fed won't intervene in the economy any time soon. Investors have been selling low-risk U.S. government bonds, sending the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note up to 1.81 percent Wednesday. That's up from 1.73 percent Tuesday and 1.66 percent late Monday.
As investors shuffled their money around, the Russell 2000 index of small stocks gained the most of the major indexes, 0.9 percent. The S&P was up 0.1 percent, the Nasdaq 0.5 percent.
In the last few weeks of the summer, trading volumes in the stock market have been low. On Wednesday, the number of shares changing hands on the New York Stock Exchange totaled just 2.6 billion, compared to an average of 4 billion on an average day. Investors may also be holding off on taking aggressive positions ahead of a meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve in Wyoming at the end of this month.
On Wednesday, the Dow traded within a range of just 54 points.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.