INVESTORS found little reason to buy stocks yesterday as the Dow and S&P 500 ended barely changed, suggesting that even several days of losses have not convinced institutions share prices are attractive. A smattering of strength in technology shares boosted the Nasdaq modestly, but just 5.812bn shares traded on the combined NYSE Arca, Nasdaq and American Stock Exchanges for the second-lightest daily volume of the year.
The biggest losers were education stocks, which tumbled on concerns federal regulators will impose tighter controls on student loans. Corinthian Colleges lost 21.6 per cent to $5.22 (£3.33) and was one of the most actively traded on the Nasdaq.
Strayer Education fell 18.4 per cent to $163.26 and Capella Education slumped 13.2 per cent to $60.94.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 1.14 points, or 0.01 per cent, at 10,302.01. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 0.13 point, or 0.01 per cent, at 1,079.38. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 8.39 points, or 0.39 per cent, at 2,181.87.