NEW YORK, New York - U.S. stocks had an unremarkable day on Thursday.
Solid data on the employment front provided some early confidence, but there was little other news about to drive markets in one direction or another.
On forex markets, the British pound was in demand, after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the European Union would work with the UK to find an accord that keeps the Good Friday agreement, and ensures the integrity of the EU's single market. "We can also find a backstop solution by October 31," she said.
At the close on Thursday the Dow Jones Industrial Average was ahead 49.51 points, or 0.19%, at 26,252.24.
The Standard and Poor's dipped 1.48 points, or 0.05%, to 2,922.95.
The Nasdaq Composite fell 28.82 points, or 0.36%, to 7,991.39.
The British pound rose sharply to 1.2251. The euro was little changed at 1.1081. The Japanese yen eased a touch to 106.47, while the Swiss franc edged down to 0.9836.
The Canadian dollar was slightly stronger at 1.3299. The Australian dollar weakened, and was last approaching a crucial technical level at 0.6750. The New Zealand dollar was very soft after poor retail sales date. It last traded at 0.6369.
In overseas equity markets, the German Dax fell 0.47%. The FTSE 100 in the UK shed 1.05%, while in Paris, the CAC 40 lost 0.87%.
In Asia, markets were flat. The Nikkei 225 rose 9.44 points or 0.05% to 20,628.01.
China's Shanghai Composite inched up 3.10 points or 0.11% to 2,883.44.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng, slid 221.32 points or 0.84% to 26,048.72.
The Australian All Ordinaries gained 20.40 points or 0.31% to 6,593.00.