NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -
Stocks clung to a tight range at the open Wednesday, as investors took a pause after a four-week runup that has boosted the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq composite to 4-1/2 year highs.
The Dow Jones industrial average (up 51.15 to 10,871.43, Charts), the broader S&P 500 (down 1.60 to 1,259.63, Charts) index and the Nasdaq composite (down 2.08 to 2,251.48, Charts) all swayed not far from unchanged in the early going.
Stocks gained Tuesday after the release of the minutes from the November Federal Reserve policy meeting, which suggested that the central bank is nearing the end of its almost 17-month rate hiking campaign.
That optimism continued to support sentiment early Wednesday. However, the major stock indexes were little moved in the early going.
Trading volume is apt to be light Wednesday, particularly heading into the afternoon, as Wall Streeters bail out early for the Thanksgiving holiday.
All financial markets are closed Thursday, and both the stock and bond markets close early Friday. The bond market will close early Wednesday, as well.
Among stock movers, shares of Research in Motion (down $4.56 to $62.52, Research) slumped at the open after the maker of the Blackberry wireless device cut its subscriber outlook for the rest of the fiscal year.
U.S. light crude oil for January delivery fell 37 cents to $58.47 a barrel in electronic trading.
Treasury prices were flat, with the yield on the 10-year note standing at about 4.42 percent.
The dollar rose modestly versus the euro and fell versus the yen.
COMEX gold fell $3.30 to $489.60 an ounce.
In global trade, major Asian markets ended higher and European markets rose at midday.